An innovative approach to improving access to consultations with general practitioners (GPs) in private practice has culminated in the development of NetcarePlus Vouchers, a new product that has just been launched in South Africa.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a fresh appreciation of the importance of one’s health and the value of quality medical care. This, together with the economic crisis that has ensued as a result thereof, has precipitated a number of paradigm shifts. Amongst these is the accelerated focus on innovative healthcare solutions using digital technology to make private healthcare accessible to a much wider market,” says Dr Richard Friedland, chief executive officer of the Netcare Group.
“Primary healthcare represents a cornerstone for maintaining health and wellness. The care provided by GPs speaks to people’s most common day-to-day healthcare needs and is crucial to supporting a person’s health and well-being. The innovative NetcarePlus GP Vouchers offer a practical and affordable solution to South Africans who need the care of a doctor, but for whom it would otherwise be difficult to afford this.”
Dr Friedland explains that NetcarePlus is the brand under which the Netcare Group’s recently established Innovative Products Division will be making a range of innovative new products available to the South African market. The division’s managing director, Teshlin Akaloo, an actuary with extensive expertise in the financial, and health and wellness sectors, is supported by a team of skilled professionals across actuarial, medical, product development, digital and distribution disciplines.
“The NetcarePlus GP Voucher offers a choice between three types of pre-paid vouchers that are redeemable for a consultation with a GP. Individuals can choose to buy a voucher that gives them access to an in-person consultation, a voucher that covers the consultation and prescribed acute medications or a voucher that will provide access to a virtual doctor consultation,” says Akaloo.
“The competitive pricing of the NetcarePlus GP Vouchers, which is offered at a discount compared to medical aid tariffs, compares very favourably with private GP consultation fees across the industry, and provides excellent value for money.”
According to Akaloo, a NetcarePlus GP Voucher for a virtual doctor consultation costs R290. A voucher for an in-person doctor consultation costs R350, while a voucher for an in-person doctor consultation including the cost of certain acute medicines costs R430.
“Over 500 doctors across all nine provinces are already part of the fast growing NetcarePlus Trusted Partner Network. Our partner GPs are located in the major centres across the country, but with a virtual option as part of the NetcarePlus GP Vouchers, anyone can now access private GP consultations regardless of where they live or work.
“Through these vouchers, private primary healthcare services can be conveniently paid for as and when required, either by the person needing to consult a GP or someone else on their behalf. This provides a viable new way for ensuring quality private medical care for persons who are not members of medical schemes and is also ideally suited to employers looking for an affordable way to support their staff with medical care. It is a practical add-on to existing cover for those with hospital plans, or whose day-to-day medical scheme benefits have run out,” Akaloo explains.
How to purchase and use NetcarePlus GP Vouchers
- An individual can select from the three types of NetcarePlus GP Vouchers and can purchase as many vouchers as they wish through a secure platform on www.netcare.co.za/NetcarePlus. The list of participating GPs can also be viewed here.
- The individual can make an appointment with a participating GP at the same time as buying a voucher, or can make the actual appointment at a later stage when required.
- FNB clients can also purchase NetcarePlus GP Vouchers through FNB platforms such as the FNB App and eBucks shop, using cash, card or eBucks.
- The voucher code confirming the purchase will be sent to the purchaser’s cellphone by SMS.
- NetcarePlus GP vouchers are transferrable, so you can buy a voucher for someone else. In that case, you will need to forward the SMS voucher code to them.
- For virtual consultations, the NetcarePlus Partner GP will send a unique link via SMS to the secure digital platform on which the consultation will be hosted. If the GP prescribes medication during the virtual consultation, a script will be sent by e-mail.
- For in-person consultations, the NetcarePlus GP Voucher SMS and code needs to be presented to the receptionist at the doctor’s rooms, as proof of payment.
“This first offering from NetcarePlus complements and expands our existing healthcare services and has enormous potential to make it possible for millions more South Africans to benefit from private primary healthcare services. Moreover, NetcarePlus will be introducing a number of other innovative and affordable new healthcare products in South Africa,” says Dr Friedland.
“The new NetcarePlus GP Vouchers can help to open doors not only to curative care during illness but also for preventative care, which establishes a strong foundation for maintaining better health over the long-term. Our health impacts every part of our lives and with the Netcare Plus offering we aim to improve the quality of people’s lives through enhanced access to private healthcare,” Dr Friedland concludes.
For more information on the NetcarePlus GP Voucher product, visit www.netcare.co.za/NetcarePlus
Issued by: MNA on behalf of Netcare’s Innovative Products Division and NetcarePlus
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville or Estene Lotriet-Vorster
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
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