High price for obstetrician consult

2017-10-19 06:00

MEDICAL indemnity fees for obstetricians stand at almost R1 million a year affecting specialists and patients in various ways, including strain from long hours to exorbitant consultation fees, and for some, eventually leaving the field.

Dr Sibusiso Phinzi, formerly at Margate Netcare, said after “pulling” all the years in medical school to qualify and specialise in his passion the exorbitant fees for him to practice was a damper on his dreams.

“I love my work, nothing brings me greater joy than welcoming a new person into the world, but the extremely high medical indemnity fees is something that should be revealed to prospective obstetricians while they are still studying,” said Phinzi.

He said in government hospitals, the fee is even higher than the specialist’s salary. “The fee is approximately R88 000 per month for full protection and R35 000 for claims-based cover. A specialist in a government hospital is paid less than R88 000. Therefore you end working both in government and private sector for long hours in order for you to make profit, especially when you are starting,” said Phinzi.

Those in private practice make up the cost by increasing consultation fees, making the patient cover the difference that medical aid can’t, he said.

The prices which Phinzi said could go up to R2 000 per consultation often applies to gynaecology and obstetrician consultations.

Precious Gumede (28), of Gamalakhe said she has only visited a gynaecologist once because of the high consultation fees. “I went once when I was pregnant and the consultation was R900. They are way too expensive even if they are necessary,” said Gumede.

According to fin24 the fees have gone up by 382% - from R250 000 to R850 000 - in the past eight years not concurrent with the annual medical fund tariff increase which is usually at six percent per annum.

“This issue is not unique to South Africa - it occurred in other countries and they came with solutions such as standardising the amount paid per claim, amending the laws to minimise cases ending up in court,” said Phinzi.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.