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Best hospitals in South Africa

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Best hospitals in South Africa

Every person who has ever fallen ill and needed intensive medical assistance will understand the value of a hospital. Sometimes going to a general practitioner or a health clinic is just not sufficient to treat the ailment. You may wonder which hospital is the best to choose when you are in need of specialised treatment.

Choosing a hospital will depend on certain criteria.Some criteria include your area, if you have medical aid insurance, the coverage they provide and the career that you pursue. All this information will determine the type of hospital also that you need to choose.

To explain this, South Africa has two main types of hospitals, private hospitals and state funded hospital. A third option is available, namely military hospitals, but they are in fact also state funded, though regarded as mainly exclusive for military use.

Public hospitals are state funded and therefore more affordable. There are various reasons that a person will choose to visit public hospitals. The main reason is the affordability of the medical care and services. Persons without medical insurance can use public hospitals if they cannot afford the services of a private hospital.

Doctors doing their practical training are obligated by law to work at least two years in a community environment and may not provide services with financial gain as motive. This is done for the purpose to provide services to less fortunate communities and other people who cannot afford private medical care.

When you have medical insurance, the plan you select can determine which hospital to visit. There are many plans that only make provision for coverage at a public hospital. The insurance company will provide you with a list of doctors whom you can contact and where they practise.

Military hospitals are for the use of military personnel and their direct families. The staff and doctors working there are also in the military sector. South Africa has three Military hospitals, on each in Cape Town, Bloemfontein and in Pretoria with for specialised units for Aviation, Maritime, Veterinary services and a Psychological unit. These hospitals and units specialise in the unique needs of military personnel.

South Africa has many private hospitals. Individual medical groups own and administrate these hospitals. There are more private hospitals available than public hospitals making it more accessible. Private hospitals are becoming increasingly popular, but because it is privately owned, these institutes do not receive state subsidies. The costs for medical care are therefore higher and not all medical insurance schemes cover these costs.

A relatively new concept in South Africa is medical care centres. These centres operate as a small-scale hospital. They incorporate all the services generally provided by hospitals and other clinics in the convenience of one location. These medical centres have become the entry point for medical assistance. Many medical insurance schemes require you to first visit a health care centre. Should you require more specialised care, the attending doctor can refer you to additional health care providers or arrange hospitalisation.

An added benefit is that you can be assured by the comfort that South African doctors are regarded as some of the best doctors in the world.

04 Sep 2012
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