#Change4Cancer

Bara doctor takes medical aid to court for denying him 'pricey' cancer treatment

A doctor at Baragwanath Hospital in Gauteng has taken government medical scheme Gems to court for denying him medical treatment for his stage four cancer.

Dr Sipho Bvuma says Gems has refused to pay for his expensive brain cancer treatment, which he believes will prolong his life and move him into remission stage.

Read: Momentum explains why it refused to pay shooting victim's life insurance

This is the second time that Dr Bvuma has taken Gems to court.

A year ago, he won a court case which forced Gems to pay for a procedure called Gamma Knife radiation.

Now Dr Bvuma's specialist oncologist has recommended that he receive a special drug treatment that he says will cost roughly R550 000 for 16 cycles.

However, Gems has argued that there's no evidence that the costly drug will save him, adding that the drug is not approved or registered in South Africa.

Also read: Wife of Nathan Ganas speaks out over Momentum's refusal to pay up

Gems claims that Dr Bvuma's cancer is at an advanced stage and the drug will not improve his condition.

Dr Bvuma says his lawyers have been arguing his case in the Gauteng High Court.

After I finished my radiation, it was actually discovered that it has spread to the brain, which needed a procedure called Gamma Knife radiation.

Dr Sipho Bvuma, a doctor at Baragwanath Hospital 

I applied for my medical aid, Gems, to authorise the medication. They refused.

Dr Sipho Bvuma, a doctor at Baragwanath Hospital 

We went to court. The court granted the judgement in my favour. So I did go for the Gamma Knife radiation at Milpark Hospital. After that, the hospital started calling me demanding payment which was already decided by the court.

Dr Sipho Bvuma, a doctor at Baragwanath Hospital 

My cancer developed new metastasis in the brain. My specialist oncologist said it would need a special drug.

Dr Sipho Bvuma, a doctor at Baragwanath Hospital 

I think if I have that drug, I will definitely go into remission.

Dr Sipho Bvuma, a doctor at Baragwanath Hospital 

It's got nothing to do with the efficiency of the drug. It's the pricing and the fact that they say I'm at a stage that nothing can help me.

Dr Sipho Bvuma, a doctor at Baragwanath Hospital 

I joined Gems about 10 or 11 years ago.

Dr Sipho Bvuma, a doctor at Baragwanath Hospital 

The Xolani Gwala Show has reached out to Gems and plans to follow up on this story.

Listen to him explain on The Xolani Gwala Show:


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