• Netcare is now offering vouchers for visits to the GP. They're meant for people who don't have medical schemes.
  • The vouchers can be bought online. The GP needs to be partnered with Netcare, but you can opt for a virtual consultation if there's no-one close by.
  • They cost between R290 for a virtual consultation, and R430 for an in-person visit that includes certain acute medication, such as antibiotics.
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Private medical group Netcare has just announced you’ll be able to buy vouchers for GP visits.

The vouchers, which are available to buy online, are a way to give people without a medical aid access to private medical care. But even if you are a medical aid member, you can buy a GP voucher - they’re considerably cheaper than the fees many doctors charge for private consultations. 

The NetcarePlus GP vouchers “can significantly improve access to private healthcare, as it offers a practical and affordable solution to South Africans who need the care of a doctor but for whom it would otherwise be difficult to afford this,” says Dr Richard Friedland, chief executive officer of the Netcare Group. You can buy a voucher as a gift for someone. 

There are three types of vouchers. A virtual doctor consultation costs R290. An in-person visit costs R350, and a consultation that combines an in-person visit with prescribed acute medications, such as antibiotics, costs R430.

“The competitive pricing of the NetcarePlus GP Vouchers, which is offered at a discount in relation to medical aid tariffs, compares very favourably with private GP consultation fees across the industry, and provides excellent value for money,” says Teshlin Akaloo, managing director of Netcare’s Innovative Products Division.

What’s the catch? Well, the doctors need to be members of Netcare's “Trusted Partner Network”. According to the company, they have more than 500 doctors across all nine provinces and major cities signed up. However, because there’s an option for a virtual consultation, this allows pretty much anyone with an internet connection to see a partner GP.

Here’s how it works:

  • You can select from the three types of NetcarePlus GP Vouchers and can purchase as many vouchers as you wish through a secure platform on www.netcare.co.za/NetcarePlus. It also includes a list of participating GPs.
  • You can make an appointment with a participating GP at the same time as buying a voucher, or can make the actual appointment at a later stage when required.
  • The voucher code confirming the purchase will be sent to your cellphone by SMS.
  • The vouchers are transferrable, so you can buy a voucher for someone else. In that case, you'll need to forward the SMS voucher code to them.
  • For virtual consultations, the NetcarePlus Partner GP will send you a unique link via SMS to the secure digital platform on which the consultation will be hosted. If the GP prescribes medication during the virtual consultation, a script will be sent by e-mail.
  • For in-person consultations, the NetcarePlus GP Voucher SMS and code need to be presented at the doctor’s rooms as proof of payment.

(Compiled by Edward-John Bottomley)

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