Emergency department fees
Netcare emergency departments support the principle that patients should be encouraged to use the healthcare system appropriately – non-urgent cases should be seen by general practitioners, family physicians or at walk-in care facilities rather than in the emergency department. The inappropriate use of emergency department services is one of the common problems leading to overcrowding.
Emergency care at Netcare emergency departments is provided by emergency practitioners who are in private practice, i.e. they are independent practitioners and not employed by the hospital.
Patients are entitled to ask for an estimation of the emergency department services costs and the cost of procedures. However patients should note that the final bill may well differ from the estimated cost, since it will depend on the actual care, treatment, procedures and consumables used for the procedures.
Medical scheme patients
The costs of your treatment in the case of a medical emergency should be covered by your medical scheme, but you should be aware that the often high costs of diagnosing your condition in an emergency situation may not always be covered.
Medical schemes are obliged, in terms of regulations under the Medical Schemes Act, to cover all medical emergencies because they fall under the prescribed minimum benefits (PMBs). Your medical scheme may refuse to cover the costs of your visit to an emergency department if the reason for your visit is not classified as an emergency.
Some medical schemes may require co-payments, to ensure that their members use the facilities appropriately and that they use facilities with which the medical scheme has contracted.
You will receive the following bills for your care at a Netcare emergency department.
- A bill from the hospital for the use of the facility (facility fee) and for all consumables used in the emergency department.
- A bill from the emergency doctor practice for the doctor consultation and procedures performed.
If other independent service providers – such as the radiology department, pathology laboratory, medical specialists and other healthcare professionals – have provided services to you, they will bill you separately for such services.
Private patients will be given an estimate for the proposed treatment plan required and will be required to place a deposit for medical management and settle the accounts of all service providers.