South Africa: encouraging inbound medical travel

The private healthcare system in South Africa ranks among the top healthcare systems in the world for quality. For South African insurer, Discovery, making the South African private healthcare system more accessible to the rest of Africa is a key focus area.

Discovery is planning to extend its healthcare footprint into the rest of Africa with the launch of Travel for Treatment.

Travel for Treatment will provide an end-to-end clinical concierge service and allow access to healthcare in top medical destinations in Africa and Europe. It is aimed at people living in Africa who have complex medical conditions where local treatment is inadequate for their needs.

At first, Discovery will provide options to travel for treatment in South Africa, the United Kingdom and France, which is a popular destination for francophone counties in Africa.

Discovery research shows that thousands of people choose travel from African countries for treatment abroad each year. By combining Discovery’s purchasing power, network reach and data analytics capability, it is hoping to provide comprehensive support to this target group.

Travel for Treatment also includes various concierge services required including return flights to country of treatment and travel documents, accommodation before during and after treatment, transport (with a medical escort or air ambulance option) and 24/7 call centre support.

Travel for Treatment is offered by Vitality Health International in partnership with Medical Services Organisation International (MSOI) (a subsidiary of Discovery Health (Pty) Ltd.). MSOI has seven offices with 85 full time staff members operating across five African countries and is a provider of integrated healthcare risk management and third-party administration services and solutions to over a million beneficiaries throughout Africa.

Cover will initially only be for Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia. Discovery aims to expand into a large number of other countries on the African continent throughout 2022.