Africa Print attended a Wellness Day at the Health Squared offices in Woodmead, Gauteng. Panellists included Dr Jacques Rene Snyman: Medical Director: Agility Health, Martie Conradie: Clinical Consultanlt Medical Advisory and Juan Royffe, Traumatologist.
Snyman mentioned that population demographics are the reason why the Covid-19 ‘curve’ varies across the world, and with that medical schemes will vary across the world too. He further emphasised that people are starting to visit hospitals only when needed, and not unnecessarily, as was the trend experienced in the past.
‘Patients often unnecessarily go to hospital. What you should do is visit your doctor and make sure your diseases are well controlled. What we have picked up is: more people visit their doctors as out-patients, and less as in-patients – that’s the good news.’
He also discussed the importance of protecting the wellbeing of the vulnerable in the workplace and avoiding stigmatisation during the pandemic. He emphasised that poorly ventilated areas and populated retail environments are particularly vulnerable workspaces.
Conradie spoke about people being accommodated in their work spaces during these difficult times. These include working from home, supporting people with psychosocial conditions and/or providing sanitisers, PPE masks etc, and creating a sense of belonging in the workplace. ‘Finding a new balance in the workplace can create a positive effect, said Conradie. ‘Management must also communicate with their employees, get their input and make them feel valued.’
Royffe outlined the correlation between Covid-19 and trauma, including the fear of going to the shops, how the pandemic has affected our coping mechanisms, how we do not like change, and how change taps into our coping mechanisms. He emphasised how anxiety impairs concentration.
He also mentioned how those who have contracted Covid-19 may experience guilt, but should not feel at fault.
Despite the rapid onset of both Covid-19 and the extended lockdown, Health Squared proved its mettle by:
• Being one of the first medical schemes to cover Covid-19 testing even if the tests came back negative.
• Providing members with free face masks to ensure their and others’ health and safety.
• Offering payment relief to their members during lockdown.
• Supporting its members with free well-being benefits to help them cope during these stressful times.
• Assisting many small businesses through the Small Business Relief Fund.
• Being one of the few medical schemes to offer a zero percent increase on certain of its options, without compromising on its members’ benefits.
These efforts, as well as partnering with various associations, have enabled the company to live up to its ethos of preparing for today, in order to prosper tomorrow. Health Squared are looking forward to an even more successful and prosperous 2021, where collectively they will continue to expand and thrive.
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