33: Universities and Medical Aids

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Despite policy initiatives aimed at structuring affordable low cost health care funding products, medical schemes have remained unaffordable, and therefore inaccessible, to the majority of South Africans. Universities, through insurance companies, provide medical aid with high premiums to their staff. Coupled with high tuition, international students attending South African universities also have to pay high prices for compulsory medical aid cover.

The cost of treatment in general and medicine in particular is an important barrier to health care access, with the rising cost of medicine contributing to the growing pressure on affordability. Prof Mehita Iqani had a discussion with Prof Alex van den Heever, the Chair of Social Security Systems Administration and Management Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand and  adjunct professor in the Wits School of Governance, on what how medical aids in South Africa are structured and what it means for universities. Is it possible for universities to drive affordable health insurance for all staff and students?

Produced by: Simbarashe Honde


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