Your Health Questions Answered

My gynae wants upfront cash payment for delivery

Question from Anna

I am 29 weeks and opted for a C-section. My gynaecologist’s receptionist now informs me that I have to pay the doctor’s fee upfront before the due date. Although I am on medical aid, he does not deal with medical aids and requires a cash payment from me. The problem is that the amount he is asking for is around R12,000 which is about three times the medical aid rate for a C-section. I knew I would have to fork out about R8,000 from my own pocket while the medical aid would have settled about R4,000 but I can only claim from my medical aid after the baby is born. I thought I would have more time to settle this bill. His receptionist says that he will not do the delivery if the entire bill is not paid upfront. Is he allowed to make this demand for payment upfront? Will my medical aid pay me upfront under any circumstance?

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How much is a C-section in private hospital?

Question from Anonymous

I am 6 weeks pregnant and do not have medical aid. No medical aid wants to cover me because of my current pregnancy. While I can manage all the gynaecologist costs and other expenses during the pregnancy, I am worried about how I will afford the childbirth in a private hospital. People I have spoken to are talking about tens of thousands of rands and I want to have a C-section in private. Please advise as to what costs I may be facing for the delivery. And is there any other cover I can get for my pregnancy?
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Can I treat heartburn in pregnancy with antacids?

Question from Wilma

I am now 29 weeks into my pregnancy and suffering with severe heartburn. It is so bad that I cannot sleep and sometimes wake up with the feeling that I am vomiting. My pharmacist says this is normal and told me to use Gaviscon chewing tablets for the problem. I have been taking it many times in a day but I am a bit worried about using it constantly in case it harms the baby. What other antacids can I use?
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Does medical aid pay for MRI scans?

Question from Anonymous

My medical aid tells me that they will not approve an MRI scan that my doctor feels is necessary. I always thought that medical aids cannot refuse to pay for essential tests like an MRI scan. What recourse do I have against the medical aid? I cannot afford the R6,000 that the MRI scan will cost me from my own pocket. I pay my medical aid premiums every month and they are letting me down.
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