Preventative Healthcare Remains Priority at Bestmed
By Chris Luyt: Executive: Marketing and Sales
Medical Schemes, by law, are for the members and run by the members. It is for this reason that member needs must be protected at all times. Bestmed, one of the top five open medical schemes in the country, and the winner of the 2015 FIA Product of the Year Award, joins the industry in observing World Vaccination Week.
Change of seasons can leave you weak and vulnerable. Now with winter fast approaching, you can reduce the chances of contracting seasonal flu by being vaccinated against it. All Bestmed members are, as part of its Preventative Care Programme, entitled to a flu vaccine. This vaccine is funded from the scheme’s Risk Benefit to a maximum of R70.68 per vaccine per member and their registered dependants.
Research suggests that there is a misconception about vaccines. Immunisation against the flu contributes towards saving many lives and decreasing healthcare costs. The flu vaccine is made up of a chemically inactivated virus that enables the body to learn to store the “shape” of the flu virus so that when you get the flu, the immune system is already armed to fight it. However, the degree of protection it offers will depend on a variety of factors such as a patient’s age, state of health and the closeness of the “match” between the vaccine and the specific strains of influenza in circulation.
While the vaccination is an option – with the exception of babies under six months old – there are certain sectors of the population which are more likely to develop serious complications if they contract flu. It is therefore strongly recommended that people who fall into the following categories have the vaccine:
- Women who would be in their second or third trimester of pregnancy during the influenza season and pregnant women with medical conditions that place them at risk for influenza complications should be immunised at any stage of pregnancy
- Adults and children over six months old with a chronic health condition or with a weakened immune system
- Everyone aged 65 and older
- Residents of long-term care facilities
- Caregivers of babies and young children
- Children on long-term aspirin therapy
- Anyone who is likely to come into regular or close contact with people in these high-risk categories
- People who have one or more medical condition that places them at increased risk for serious flu complications