According to SA’s latest health review, the public health system needs to strengthen in various ways to meet the unique needs of young people. It includes defining and monitoring indicators of health coverage and keeping track of the quality of services that young people receive from healthcare facilities. To achieve this, we need to increase the capacity of health workers to provide youth-friendly services and improve access to affordable healthcare.
Although young people make up about a third of the country’s population, healthcare services are often not designed for their needs. It is a problem. When young people are not healthy, they cannot work effectively, leading to a drop in productivity and affecting the economy. Protecting our nation’s youth contributes positively to GDP – health is wealth. This Youth Day 2022 ASAIPA encourages youth to take charge of their wellbeing and make conscious moves to secure affordable medical cover that is specifically accessible and tailored to their needs.
Why get medical cover?
Screening and early detection of risk factors can avert long-term health consequences in adulthood. Early intervention is a step towards preventing and promoting healthy behaviours such as contraceptive access and use, which will likely reduce morbidity and mortality among youth.
Unfortunately, young people either think they are too young to need medical aid, or those who have medical aid are not fully aware of what their coverage provides. Things can change in a blink of an eye, and one might not have the funds readily available to cover the costs required. Furthermore, young people often shy away from a timely visit to the doctor because of the consultation fees, which most feel they cannot afford at any time of the month. It increases the infection window and often leads to more significant problems when they visit a doctor only once symptoms are severe.
It’s all digital!
Life in the digital age is incredibly fast-paced, especially for young professionals who are often incredibly busy and rushed – juggling responsibilities whilst also trying to plan for the future, run errands, and so much more.
Don’t wait too long to get cover
Getting covered early, before age 35, is essential to avoid late joining fees and gives you the freedom to consult your doctor at any time to diagnose and treat any health issues before they become severe. Furthermore, it is easier to get cover if you are relatively healthy – which most youths are – but if you are unhealthy with pre-existing conditions, there may be waiting periods and exclusions.
Don’t wait until you are in an emergency or need to start or expand your family. Being a member of medical aid is vital, especially in South Africa. We encourage all youth to investigate the different plans available to them. Investing in your health is investing in your future!