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What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the second most common type of arthritis after osteoarthritis. It is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joints. This causes inflammation that is seen and experienced as pain, swelling, redness of the skin and sometimes heat over the joint. In more severe and long term cases, rheumatoid arthritis may lead to complications such as joint nodules and deformities. RA is a chronic condition. There may be periods where the symptoms are very mild or totally disappear but it returns again in the future.

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Short payment by medical aid is becoming more common these day as more practitioners move away from NHRPL tariffs and charge private rates. Until recently, patients were not aware that they would be faced with a bill above and beyond what medical aid pays for these procedures. However, practitioners are now required by law to inform patients about their higher than medical aid rates before commencing treatments and patients have to sign a consent form indicating that they still wish to undergo treatment at this higher price.

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If you are experiencing pain in the chest, then you may be having an angina attack. It is a very serious condition that can pass on its own when you rest. But sometimes it may be a warning of an upcoming heart attack. Any chest pain should be assessed by a doctor and treated accordingly. If you are a person who is at high risk of coronary artery disease or a heart attack, you need to see a doctor immediately. Even though these attacks of chest pain may pass on its own, it can eventually be a heart attack and be deadly.

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Over the years, more doctors and other service providers in South African have opted to contract out of medical aid and charge private rates. It has been an issue of contention among medical aid members who find that they still have to pay cash to health care practitioners despite paying their monthly medical aid contribution. Even more frustrating for medical aid members is that the private cash rates charged by many doctors is significantly higher than medical aid rates. Ultimately this leads to a shortfall between what the patient has to pay and what the medical aid is prepared to reimburse, which means that patients are out of pocket.

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Nighttime heartburn is one of the many reasons for sleeping problems. And it is more common than most people think. But often the symptoms are not well understood and you spend an entire night looking at the ceiling trying to pinpoint the cause of your insomnia. Heartburn is a symptom and not a disease. It occurs when your stomach acid flows backward from your stomach (where it is produced) to your oesophagus (food pipe). And while it may worsen after a meal or with specific foods and drinks, most people do not know that heartburn worsens at night when the stomach acid production peaks even if you have not eaten .

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These days your salary package is quoted as cost-to-company. This means that your actual pay as well all the benefits should not exceed the CTC amount. It gives you some flexibility in deciding in how your salary package will be structured but it can be confusing at times, especially if you are not financially-inclined. The question that most employees have is “how can I get the highest take-home pay while paying the least amount of taxes?”. Your retirement annuity, pension/provide fund contributions, medical aid and income protection are some of the tax deductions that provide you with financial protection.

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