A PRIVATE HOSPITAL BIRTH WITHOUT THE MEDICAL AID PRICE TAG? YES PLEASE!
Having an uncomplicated vaginal birth at a birth centre is by far the most affordable private option; however, even this can still burn a large hole in your bank balance, and for many without medical aid, it’s only a pipe dream. For a large portion of professional South African women, private maternity care is simply not an option without medical aid assistance, but they are still wanting a more intimate, personal birthing experience than state hospitals can offer. Now, “this forgotten middle class” as Sister Connie Ngobeni, calls it, has access to an innovative scheme, called The Birthing Team, aimed at providing private maternity healthcare to income-earning mothers who do not have medical aid. The scheme recently launched at Netcare’s Rand Hospital in Hillbrow, Johannesburg and offers pregnant women who do not have medical aid all-inclusive, end-to-end maternity care in a private hospital for a set fee of R19 500. This fee includes a comprehensive initial screening appointment of R1 500 before you can be signed on, and then if you are eligible for the full programme, you will receive at least three ultrasounds, eight antenatal visits (six with a midwife and two with a doctor), three postnatal visits, all blood tests and dedicated care during your normal, vaginal delivery. The fee also includes an emergency c-section, if one becomes necessary. The catch? You need to pay upfront, and your pregnancy needs to be lowrisk. “The best thing a woman can do is book early; it is preferable for her to come in for the initial screening at about 12 weeks,” says Connie. “To keep the service affordable and sustainable, we are unable to manage certain medical conditions,” says gynaecologist Dr Howard Manyonga. “Complex cases need to be referred to and managed by specialists in the public sector.”