Higher rates from medical aids

Higher rates from medical aids

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Emile Enslin started this petition to Discovery Health and

The prices being paid to dentists and more specifically, dental technicians, are currently being governed and dictated by the Medical Aid Funders.

Discovery Health is one of the largest schemes and as such contributes a substantial amount towards our fees. For 2021, they have unfortunately decided to only grant the technicians a 3.3% increase in rates that they will pay. This is way below any form of sustainable amounts given that the average price of dental materials has gone up by nearly 30% over the last year, which in effect has left us with a negative growth of 30.87% (after taking into account the current inflation rates).

Our practice, and the dental technology industry is both expected and obligated to use the best possible materials, and to purchase the most up to date equipment in order to service our clients. The rates we are being forced to charge in order to be reimbursed by the medical schemes is making it impossible for us to provide the type and quality of work that dentists demand and that patients have the right to expect. We do not see ourselves being able to continue in practice at this rate and may be forced to lay off staff, or worse still close shop completely. This will again have major negative repercussions on the type and quality of work that those few remaining laboratories are able to provide to dentists and patients.

Given that the average member contribution goes up by approximately 10% each year, it is unacceptable that for the last couple of years we have only received an increase of 5 - 5.5%, which is way under the inflation rate. For medical aids to now only grant us a 3.3% increase is totally intolerable. The dental industry must now band together and take action against Medical Aids in order to force them to fund fair and acceptable increases in field.

It is interesting to note that Discovery made a profit of R7.7 billion in the financial year of 2019 – at whose expense? It seems the medical schemes industry is milking the professions who provide health services as well as the patients who pay for them. This unethical situation cannot be allowed to continue.

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