Leading medical scheme for the banking industry, Bankmed, has agreed to fund preventative care benefits, which are in line with the NDoH women’s health initiatives, including pap smear screenings; annual mammograms for females 40 years and older; human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations for females aged 9–16; antenatal screening; HIV testing of pregnant women; maternity programme benefits; and prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission benefits.
Metropolitan Health, Bankmed’s medical scheme administrator, will be responsible for the various treatment programmes – such as the oncology, maternity and HIV programmes – to ensure the preventative interventions are implemented.
In SA there are 5,743 new cases of cervical cancer a year and 3,027 annual deaths from the disease. It’s estimated that 16.84 million South African women over the age of 15 are at risk of cervical cancer due to HPV. “Cervical cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death in Southern Africa – yet it is entirely preventable through regular screenings and early immunisation if women are vaccinated before becoming sexually active,” said Executive Manager of HIV: Metropolitan Health Risk Management, Siraaj Adams.
CEO and Principal Officer of Bankmed, Teddy Mosomothane, said: “Ultimately, we want our members to be well. The Bankmed 2015 benefits have placed extensive focus on the Wellness and Preventative Care offering, encouraging members to undergo regular screening – which is covered by the insured pool.”
“We encourage employer groups and members to participate in wellness and preventative care initiatives, and use these benefits to make sure that illness does not take them by surprise,” concluded Mosomothane.