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Mediclinic News : Road accidents hurt medical scheme, state

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Road accidents hurt medical scheme, state

Date

2017-01-12

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News Description

BUSINESS DAY The Road Accident Fund faces huge claims as road death toll increased 5% over the 2016-17 festive season Discovery Health Medical Scheme, SA’s largest medical aid provider, and the state’s Road Accident Fund (RAF) are paying dearly for SA’s high road death toll, which rose 5% over the 2016-17 festive season compared with a year ago. Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said on Tuesday more than 1,700 people died on the roads during the period. Many fatalities arose from cars overturning, or head-on collisions, which Peters blamed on unskilled drivers who had taken advantage of corruption at driving-licence testing centres. Those injured in these accidents are costing the state and medical schemes millions. "The RAF’s claims expenditure still remains unacceptably high at more than R32bn per annum, where each rand paid is a painful reminder of the extent to which lives are lost and people seriously injured on our roads," said Eugene Watson, the agency’s CE. The agency is funded through the fuel levy determined by the Treasury. For the 2015-16 financial year, the agency collected R33.2bn in levies, barely covering claims lodged during the year. Most of the claims expenditure – about R16bn – went to loss of earnings for people injured in road accidents. Medical costs accounted for its second-lowest expense at R1.2bn, with burial costs coming in lowest at R120m. It expects to collate data from the 2016-17 incidents in three months. At Discovery Health Medical Scheme, administered by a subsidiary of listed insurer Discovery, claims related to motor vehicle accidents topped R432m for 2016, with most lodged in December. Most claims — nearly R352.2m — were lodged for hospital costs related to accidents that occurred during the festive season, the scheme said. Injuries in Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu-Natal and the Western Cape accounted for more than 80% of the scheme's expenditure related to road accidents. Recovering this money from the RAF under the scheme’s rules has proven difficult. "[Discovery Health Medical Scheme] always pays out motor vehicle accident-related claims upfront, in accordance with a member’s benefits," Discovery Health CEO Jonathan Broomberg said. Discovery Health administers the scheme. The recovery of paid past medical expenses from the RAF, however, is limited to that which the legislation allows, taking into account fault, contributory negligence, the circumstances of the accident, as well as whether the member, in fact, elected to institute a claim.
Created at 2017/01/23 09:06 AM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2017/01/23 09:06 AM by Mediclinic