In advanced stages of illness there is cover for the necessary support and care.
Palliative care is a critical part of care for patients to manage pain and other symptoms in the advanced stages of an illness. In the advanced stages of cancer, this type of care supports patients to gain strength, to carry on with necessary medical treatment and gives patients and families emotional support. Many times families are solely responsible for this care for the patient and for the family, which can be difficult to manage in dealing with the advanced stages of illness.
Some medical schemes, such as Discovery Health Medical Scheme, have benefits that offer specific cover for and access to comprehensive palliative care. Through Discovery HomeCare, qualified care workers and health professionals are able to provide the appropriate palliative care and other support in the comfort of your home in collaboration with you treating specialists and palliative care providers. This care for advanced stage illness, covered from Discovery Health’s Advanced Illness Benefit, encourages a collaborative care approach between the patient, specialist and the family.
Supporting patients and families with comprehensive palliative care
While certain clinical criteria may be applicable, all members of Discovery Health Medical Scheme who may require this care, have to be registered by their treating doctors. Once the application process has been completed, patients in the advanced stages of cancer will have cover for their individualised treatment plan from their Hospital Benefit, and access to:
- GPs and other health professionals specialising in this phase of care with support from a dedicated Discovery care coordinator to ensure best of care.
- Counselling services and support for family members.
- Personalised home-based care services, such as pain management, hydration therapy, wound care, home care and oxygen.
- Specialised telephonic support for emergency assistance, medical claims and medical admissions.
The support from the Advanced Illness Benefit ensures patients continue to receive appropriate and relevant healthcare services, and families have the necessary support during this time. Visit www.discovery.co.za or email AIB@discovery.co.za for more information about Advanced Illness Benefit available to members of Discovery Health Medical Scheme.
Care tip It is advisable for patients to nominate someone like a family member or close friend to assist them with their care requirements, discussion with various healthcare professionals, medical aid benefits and questions. Discovery Health Medical Scheme, for example, has a form to allow a third party to access and handle queries on the patient’s behalf. This third party access can be cancelled at any time should the need arise.