Medical aid is not cheap. But the benefits of a medical aid, and the situations you may face without it, is often motivation enough for most of us to pay the premiums. When times are tough and your budget is close to breaking point, giving up your medical aid may seem like a consideration. A recent survey by Just Money (1) has revealed that about 1 in 4 South Africans can no longer afford medical aid. But before you abandon medical aid altogether, consider some of the points discussed below. It may help motivate you to find another way to keep some level of medical aid cover in these tough economic times.
We constantly hear about high blood cholesterol and how bad it is for us. But it is not just lip service. High blood cholesterol can cause permanent disability and even lead to death. The idea that it won’t happen to you is just a way of making yourself feel better about a problem that you do not want to attend to.
Without tackling your high blood cholesterol as soon as possible, you are sitting on a ticking time bomb which will most likely explode in due course. The fact is that high blood cholesterol can cause a range of complications and affect your body in several ways. The two most commonly known and feared conditions associated with blood cholesterol is a stroke and a heart attack.
Itching of the head is a common symptom and most people experience the odd bout in life. Although many of use use the word head, it is actually the scalp that we refer to when we talk about itching of the head. The scalp is the skin where the hair on the head grows. Hair itself cannot feel sensation- neither pain not itching. Therefore itchy hair is an incorrect term. Scalp itching in most cases is not serious. It is usually temporary and often eases without the need for any medical treatment. However, in some instances an itchy scalp may be related to a skin problem or even systemic disease and medical intervention is therefore necessary.
What is silicosis?
Silicosis is a lung disease that arises with inhaling silica particles. It is a slowly progressing disease that takes years or even decades before symptoms may become apparent. Recently, the condition has come to the forefront in the South African media due to pending litigation by mineworkers. Globally, silicosis is one of the most common occupational lung diseases.
Patients with silicosis usually do not know that they have the disease. Eventually there may be symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing and chest pain with tiredness and weight loss over time. The symptoms are commonly mistaken for TB (tuberculosis) but silicosis is not a lung infection like TB. However, patients with silicosis are at a higher risk of developing TB.
Discovering that you are pregnant is one of the most exciting time in every woman’s life but are you certain about your pregnancy? Even though the pregnancy symptoms are obvious, you can only be sure once a medical test confirms it. Remember that there are a host of other causes of nausea, vomiting, fatigue and bloating which may women use as a marker of whether they are pregnant or not. Pregnancy tests can be done at home, in a lab or at your doctor’s office. As soon as you suspect that you are pregnant, it is important to have a test or scan and confirm it before taking any further steps.
Medical aids were quick to respond to the growing demand for cover from the lower income sector. In recent years we have seen a number of different plans emerge among the big medical schemes that offered cover from as little as R500 per month. Not just hospital and chronic cover – it also included benefits for day-to-day care although it applied only to certain clinics and private doctors that joined the network.
These low cost medical aids were a dream come true for medical aid members who were suffering with the monthly premiums. But as the saying goes, “if it seems to be good to be true, it usually is”.