HEALTH TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS
Please obtain good travel insurance to cover medical expenses if the need arises before travelling to any destination.
South Africa has a relatively salubrious climate and levels of water treatment, hygiene and so forth make it a reasonably safe destination. Tap water is potable throughout the country.
Adults will not need any inoculations unless travelling from a yellow-fever endemic area, in which case certification to prove inoculation status on arrival in South Africa will be required. It is recommended that you have the inoculation four to six weeks before travelling to South Africa, since the certificate only becomes valid 10 days after inoculation, after which it remains valid for 10 years.
Hepatitis B inoculations are recommended for children up to 12 years who were not inoculated as infants. Booster doses for tetanus and measles may also be administered before departure.
Health professionals recommend you take malaria prophylaxis if travelling to the Kruger National Park, the Lowveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo and the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal, which pose a malaria risk in the summer months. Consult your doctor or a specialist travel clinic for the latest advice on malaria prophylaxis as it changes regularly.
Whether using a prophylaxis or not, always use mosquito repellent, wear long pants and closed shoes by day and light, long-sleeved shirts at night, and sleep under a mosquito net in endemic areas. It is advisable to avoid malarial areas if you are pregnant.
South Africa has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the world. Always take precautions to reduce the likelihood of exposure to HIV through infected blood, blood products or bodily fluids.
It is advisable to use a high SPF sun screen if you are going to spend time outdoors.
Other health issues
Bilharzia can be a problem in some of the east-flowing rivers, but it is easily treated if it is caught early. Perhaps it would be a good idea to have a routine test a month or two after you get home – just to reassure yourself.
Ticks generally emerge in the early spring and may carry tick-bite fever, which is easily treated. You should also be wary of hepatitis, for which you can be inoculated.
ADMISSION TO MEDICLINIC HOSPITALS
Mediclinic provides patients with cost-effective quality healthcare by ensuring that associated private practising medical practitioners are provided with the best possible infrastructure in the form of custom-designed facilities, state-of-the-art equipment and above all excellent nursing care.
Prospective patients can access accurate, comprehensive information regarding medical practitioners practising in various areas, online. The service provides the details of nearly all specialist disciplines and lists doctors’ contact details and the Mediclinic hospitals where they practice countrywide and in Namibia.
Patients will be required to present a letter of guarantee, obtained from their funder/insurance company, on/before admission to hospital. The authorisation should detail the maximum benefits available and confirm the patient’s membership. Any exclusions, co-payments, deductibles, limits (sub-limits) and late authorisation penalties due by the member should also be indicated on the letter of guarantee.
Emergency admissions for hospitalisation
Mediclinic will assist patients in obtaining authorisation for unscheduled/emergency admissions to our hospitals; however patients will remain liable for the claim until such time as a letter of guarantee is issued.
We recommend that insured members present a membership card that indicates the details of the insurance company, including, the company’s name, logo, contact details, member number, dependent codes, member identification number or date of birth, member plan/option. Patients who present at a Mediclinic facility must also provide personal identification (ID book, passport or drivers license) in order for us to verify their valid membership with the funder/insurance company, failing which, credit facilities will not be extended.
Patients requiring treatment at our casualty unit, who do not require admission to our in-patient facilities, will be charged on a cash basis at point of service. A copy of the account will be provided.
Mediclinic values affordability without compromising the outstanding quality of the healthcare we provide.
Mediclinic has a fee for service billing structure and claims will be submitted on this basis. Mediclinic tariffs comprise solely of hospitalisation related services (i.e. hospital accommodation, theatre costs, pharmacy stock and equipment) and, accordingly, do not pertain to the services rendered by, inter alia, doctors, pathologists, anaesthetists and other service providers.
Mediclinic hospitalisation accounts are, consequently, rendered independently from accounts relating to services supplied by providers such as the ones referred to above.
Kindly refer to the Mediclinic website for our Private Tariff Schedule and Financial Brochure.
Namibia has a different pricing structure to that of South Africa. Consequently, patients admitted to Namibian facilities will be subject to the Namibian pricing structure. Kindly refer to the Mediclinic website www.mediclinic.co.za or contact +27 (0)21 943 6000 for further details. Please note that this document relates to operations in Southern Africa and information regarding our other international operations (UAE and Switzerland) is available on request.
For Angolans travelling to Namibia for healthcare reasons, please click here for a step-by-step guide.
Please note that all our pharmacy products, ethicals and surgicals, are billed at cost.
BILLING AND PAYMENT
Due to legislative constraints, Mediclinic is prohibited from submitting global claims and as such the claims for any third parties including, but not limited to, doctors, radiology and pathology practices, etc. will be rendered independently. Patients are advised to liaise with their treating practitioner with regard to fees and claims processes. Please note that we do not offer a collation of accounts service.
Submission of accounts
Claims will be submitted to funders either via e-mail or facsimile. Any late charges/credits to accounts will also be communicated to funders within four months of the patients discharge in order for the fund to amend account payments accordingly.
Mediclinic accounts are to be paid in Rand (ZAR). Where members are liable for payments at hospitals, VISA and Mastercard credit card facilities are available.
If a foreign patient makes payment by any other method than a credit card, the following banking details must be provided in writing and confirmed by the beneficiary with his/her signature:
• Account name
• IBAN no.
• Account no.
• Physical address of beneficiary
• Swift address of bank
• Bank name
• Sort Code
• Branch name
• Physical address of bank
• Bank country
• Currency of bank account
Mediclinic will issue the refund in the following manner:
• Credit cards – Where the patient made a credit card payment and a refund is required, the refund can only be issued on the credit card i.e. no cash, cheque or EFT refund is possible.
• Other payment methods – If payment was made with cash, cheque, debit card or EFT, then the hospital is able to refund through an EFT, or by issuing a Sure Cheque on condition that the patient/payor is present when the account is finalised.
Note: It is important to note that the Sure Cheque entitles the recipient to cash the cheque immediately, however this cheque can only be cashed at an ABSA bank and during the bank’s operating hours.
International credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, Master Card, Visa and their affiliates are accepted in South Africa. In rural areas, the use of credit cards may be restricted.
The currency used in South Africa is South African Rand (R). R1 = 100 cents.
Coins in circulation: 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c R1, R2, R5.
Banknotes in circulation: R10, R20, R50, R100, R200.
Most towns have branches of the major national banks and their ATM (automatic teller machines). Most commercial banks are open from 09:00 – 15:30 on weekdays and 08:30 – 11:00 on Saturdays.
Foreign currencies can be exchanged at any commercial bank, Rennies Travel or American Express. Most upmarket hotels provide exchange facilities for their guests. Commission on exchanging money varies.
Standard Time in South Africa is
• 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time
• 1 hour ahead of Central European Winter Time
• 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Winter Time
Conversions (distances and temperatures)
• South Africa uses kilometers (km)
o 1 mile = 1,621km
• South Africa uses degrees Celsius (ºC)
o 50ºF = 10ºC
o 68ºF = 20ºC
o 86ºF = 30ºC