This team works for doctor and mum

This team works for doctor and mum

With insurance liability costs for private obstetricians pushing close to R1m annually, innovative programmes are being created to retain the specialists in the sector.

Last year the SA Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists warned of an impending collapse of the profession in the private sector as indemnity costs resulted in a continual climb, forcing between 50 and 100 professionals to leave annually.

“The costs of medical insurance cover have increased a thousand fold, I think, in the past five years. When I started I was paying about R70 0000 a month. Now we’re paying close to R100 000 a month so we can be covered to practise,” Ayanda Mbele told City Press this week. read more

Making obstetrics a team sport

Making obstetrics a team sport

Maternity services in the private sector are in crisis, with many obstetricians leaving active practice and few medical graduates opting to specialise in the field. Malpractice insurance has increased 10-fold in the past decade, making the demands on lone obstetric practises increasingly heavy. A key driver of these high malpractice premiums is scant documentation of treatment decisions and poor compliance with standard core protocols. read more

Teamwork could lower our medical costs

Teamwork could lower our medical costs

Medical practitioners need to be incentivised to keep us well, rather than getting paid just when we are sick.

Three weeks ago my son cut his finger badly and it needed to be professionally bandaged and assessed for stitches. I popped down to my doctor’s rooms and asked to see the nurse, who is very well qualified to bandage a finger and decide whether or not it needs to be seen by a doctor. read more

Teamwork will alleviate obstetrics crisis

Teamwork will alleviate obstetrics crisis

There is an escalating crisis in obstetrics in South Africa, whereby many practitioners are leaving active practice due to the high indemnity insurance costs which can be expected to reach R850 000, BizCommunity reports.

According to Dr Brian Ruff, CEO of PPO Serve, the high insurance costs are a result of deviation of practitioners deviating from standard care protocols, undocumented treatment decisions and inadequate management of complicated medical conditions such as diabetes and HIV due to lack of human resources and poor care coordination.

Dr Ruff suggests structural changes are needed, “Very few want to do the job and those that do look for ways to introduce better scheduling, we need structural change if we hope to attract specialists back to active obstetrics and encourage more students to specialise in the field.” Ruff continues by saying that Obstetricians should head up multidisciplinary teams of healthcare professionals who share patient information, treatment plans and the fee for their collective services.

In turn, indemnity costs for these teams are lower because of holistic and proactive care, better record keeping and communication and a reduction in the high rate of avoidable Caesarean sections.

Read the full article here

 

Addressing SA’s foetal alcohol problem

Addressing SA’s foetal alcohol problem

Did you know that south Africa has the highest rate of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD ) in the World! Many times, expectant mothers are not aware of the impact that alcohol, smoking or pre-existing conditions like diabetes has on foetal health and development.

Dr Howard Manyonga, obstetrician and health systems management expert says, “Women who are trying to fall pregnant or who have already conceived are not seeking medical advice early enough, this can have negative consequences.”

Dr Manyonga heads up The Birthing Team which offers a complete maternity care programme to lower-income women.

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Maternity benefits without medical cover

Maternity benefits without medical cover

Are you an expectant mother? Are you facing the difficult decision of breaking open your piggy bank to pay for private care or going to a government hospital? If so, don’t stress. You have come to the right place!

Pregnant women in South Africa who do not have medical cover, really have only two options at their disposal: either they go to a state facility or opt for private care. But with private care, the cost is not fixed and there could be many hidden cost and would not include complication or an emergency Caesarean.

Hence, The Birthing Team was created. For a set cost, expectant mothers gain access to a team of experts including GP’s, mid-wives and obstetricians who provide holistic care during pregnancy and delivery. Dr Brian Ruff, CEO of healthcare management company PPO Serve, who created The Birthing Team believes that a team approach to pregnancy significantly drives the costs down of medical care.

“The high costs in the private sector are partly driven by high Caesarean rates which are often due to poorly managed patients as well as the fact that obstetricians are working on their own and have to schedule elective births as they cannot be available all the time,” says Ruff.

The company analysed the costs of pregnancy on low-cost medical schemes between 2014 and 2015 and found that the average cost for a mother’s medical bills was R70 000. It was found that this high cost was driven by the 65% Caesarean rate and complications developed by the mother such as diabetes, hypertension or depression.

The Birthing Team package, in comparison costs R19 500, including a R1 500 initial assessment fee (including physical examinations, blood tests, scans and the development of a personalized care plan), a minimum of eight antenatal visits, blood tests, basic medicines, short antenatal admission if required, the birth and six-weeks post delivery care. The fee also covers an emergency Caesarean if required.

A higher premium of up to R 27 500 covers additional medical supervision if a woman has health risks such as HIV, diabetes or hypertension.

The full article  can be found here