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Private doctors in financial need as COVID-19 caused drop in elective surgeries

29 June 2020 8:12 AM
Tags:
COVID19
private doctors
elective surgeries

Progressive Health Forum member Dr Aslam Dasoo says there is a decline in patients going to private practitioners due to fear.

Specialists in the private sector have experience a drop in the number of patients requiring their services including elective surgeries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Gauteng private practices have seen declines of up to 60% in patient numbers during the lockdown.

As such the Private Healthcare Forum has drawn up a framework that could help the financial burden private doctors face.

RELATED: Doctors launch helpline to provide free medical advice to South Africans

Bongani Bingwa chats to Progressive Health Forum member Dr Aslam Dasoo and Netcare Group CEO Dr Richard Friedland to give more insight on the matter.

There is a serious decline in the number of patients going to private practitioners arising mainly out of fear. There is a lot of fear in attending health centres. But in anticipation of a surge of patients, elective surgical lists were cancelled.

Dr Aslam Dasoo, Member - Progressive Health Forum

He says the surge timing of COVID-19 is not in anyone's hands thus a number of private practices have struggled.

Some private practices are facing closure and some have already closed due to the pandemic.

Dr Aslam Dasoo, Member - Progressive Health Forum

He says the organisation has developed a proposal to use medical scheme budgets for 2020 to be prepaid to medical practices in order to cover expenses and overheads.

Friedland says everyone is challenged by the pandemic and thoughts and prayers go out to all staff members who are on the frontlines.

We are fighting a silent killer and we need to be careful about stigmatising as even people who tried their best sometimes get infected.

Dr Richard Friedland, Group CEO - Netcare

Listen below to the full conversation:


29 June 2020 8:12 AM
Tags:
COVID19
private doctors
elective surgeries

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