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With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to South Africa and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find there. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover!

In fact, some countries do not provide any social protection at all, while others are extremely costly: $15,000 for an appendectomy in the USA, for example. Also, medical standards and access to care can vary greatly depending on your destination giving you no choice but to turn to private doctors and hospitals. You should also be aware that the insurance provided as part of your credit card package is limited to 3 months and is not suitable for expatriation purposes (excess to pay, low levels of benefits and a high number of exclusions).

Opting for an international healthcare plan will provide you with benefits and levels of cover specially designed to suit your expatriate profile: freedom to select the medical facility or doctor of your choice, direct settlement of hospital fees in South Africa and reimbursements in the currency of your choice.

Guides & Articles

Healthcare in South Africa

Most South Africans consider their public healthcare system a disgrace. In theory, everyone has access to state hospitals and health centers for emergencies and routine doctor’s visits as well as the dispensation of medicine, all for free or a relatively small fee. But due to understaffing, a shortage of skills, a lack of supplies, and frequent strikes, service is often bad and unreliable.

For expats moving to South Africa this means that you will want to visit private hospitals and doctors for your medical needs, much like South Africans of middle to upper incomes do.

Going to the Doctor in South Africa

Going to the doctor in a new country can feel a bit daunting. You may not be sure who you should see for what and how payment is handled, and this might make you put off important decisions on which providers your family should see. It is always a good idea to find out as much as possible about your host country’s healthcare system before you are faced with any emergencies.


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