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Mediclinic News : High insurance squeezing obstetricians out of practice

Title

High insurance squeezing obstetricians out of practice

Date

2016-10-27

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News Description

DISTRICT MAIL Private gynaecologists in the Helderberg will continue delivering babies, despite high medical insurance costs. The spotlight was turned on obstetrics in recent weeks after several private gynaecologists in Worcester decided to suspend their obstetric services due to escalating insurance costs. These doctors claim high insurance costs have escalated to the extent that they can no longer continue practising as obstetricians. Locally, the Mediclinic Vergelegen confirmed that four gynaecologists at the private medical facility will continue their obstetric service, while one opted to suspend the service. The Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital confirmed that high insurance premiums to be paid by obstetricians have hampered the process of appointing obstetricians at the facility. General manager for the hospital Yaseen Harneker says their efforts to appoint permanent obstetricians have been unsuccessful since its opening last May.This despite the facility's labourand maternity ward and neonatal ICU ward. A few general practitioners who are also qualified obstetricians have referred their patients to the hospital for deliveries of babies, Harneker says. General manager for Mediclinic Vergelegen, Marquin Crotz says the hospital will continue providing obstetric services to patients in the Helderberg and Overberg areas, despite the challenge of high insurance premiums obstetricians and gynaecologists are currently experiencing. "While the growing insurance premiums are definitely a concern, doctors Andre Brink, Jane le Grange, Danie Schneider and Ludwig van Zyl continue to assist families with their obstetric needs," says Crotz. He confirmed that Dr Elizabeth Hugo is the only gynaecologist who no longer delivers babies, but will continue working as a gynaecologist. Hugo was approached for an interview, but waived the opportunity to comment. Delivery costs for one baby is about R12 000 for a gynaecologist, according to the South African Association for Obstetrics and Gynaecology (SAOG). The patient's added levy still does not cover the total cost. According to Dr Johannes van Waart, SAOG chair, indemnity insurance costs escalated from about R180 000 three years ago to R650 000 annually. Van Waart says this may increase to about R800 000 in 2017. Between 50 and 80 gynaecologists have suspended their services because of this, he says.
Created at 2016/10/31 09:12 AM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2016/10/31 09:12 AM by Mediclinic