AS AN AFFINITY CLIENT, WHICH HOSPITALS CAN I GO TO?

Health Medical Insurance

As an Affinity Health Medical Insurance client, or on the Hospital Plan, you will have access to a preselected list of private hospitals in your area.

The great thing about an Affinity Health Hospital Plan is that you get a much wider choice of hospitals and doctors than if you were a public patient.

With an extensive list of the best hospitals in the country, you can make an informed decision about which facility will be responsible for your care, while being fully covered financially in any event.

It may seem like a difficult task to find an Affinity-approved hospital near you, but it doesn’t have to be!

Affinity had made finding a hospital in your area simple and fast.

All you need to do is to find a preferred hospital closest to you, please contact our Customer Care line on 0861 11 00 33 and select option 4. We are continually adding new hospitals to our preferred list.

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QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR DOCTOR

Ask Your Doctor

It is very important to always keep an open line of communication with your doctor. Don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor about any medical issue that may be on your mind.

Make the most of your doctor’s visits by taking the opportunity to ask pertinent questions, your doctor is there to answer and allay your medical concerns.

Questions to ask your new doctor

When you visit a new doctor, you may want to ask a few questions to get to know your doctor and his/her expertise better. The first visit with a new doctor will be aimed at learning about you so that he or she can best treat you. However, make sure to use this opportunity to do the same.

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IS A HOSPITAL PLAN ENOUGH?

HOSPITAL PLAN

Deciding on the right medical aid, medical insurance or a hospital plan is no small task. There are many aspects to consider when you decide which type of cover is best for your family. As daunting as the task may seem, it is very necessary.

A large factor to consider is affordability. Medical aid is generally more expensive than medical insurance. Even more affordable is to have only a hospital plan, but is it good enough?

What is hospital cover?

Hospital cover is a medical scheme that only covers you for hospital-related incidents. Hospital visits and stays can really break the bank, leaving you in a tight spot when you have to choose between getting the assistance you need and covering other expenses.

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CAN YOU USE YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE IN EMERGENCIES?

HEALTH INSURANCE IN EMERGENCIES

Medical emergencies can happen at any time. Without insurance cover, you may find yourself in need of medical attention that will leave you out of pocket.

However, even if you do have medical insurance, certain insurers may not cover your emergency bills, depending on the contract you have with them.

So, what constitutes an emergency?

There are no actual ‘definitions or parameters’ to what constitutes a medical emergency, as this is usually determined on the spot by medical professionals such as the ambulance personnel or the medical doctor who responds to the event.

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Are You Just Really Tired Or Is It A Sign Of A Larger Issue

ARE YOU JUST REALLY TIREDWhile being tired 24/7 is a bitter part of adulthood, at what point does it indicate a more serious issue? There are many factors that affect your sleeping habits, but sometimes you’re more than fatigued.

You should be aiming to get in the around seven to nine hours of sleep a night to be fully rested. Most people struggle to make the minimum hours. Your pre-bedtime habits can affect how you sleep; these denominators could make the eight hours a night you sleep, feel like four. However, it’s not normal to feel persistently fatigued for more than a week, according to Jenepher Piper, M.S.N., a certified registered nurse practitioner tells SELF.

Eating before bed, exercising right before bed, your phone and mattress can all factor into the fatigue you feel the next day. On the other end of the scale, going to bed hungry and not exercising enough can also impact your sleep negatively.

There are many ways in which you could be sabotaging your sleep with, leaving you tired the next day.

In some cases you need to flag your fatigue to your doctor, but when? And what could your fatigue be a sign of?

“Sleepiness is simply the drive to sleep. Falling asleep during concerts, sales meetings, or intercourse are sure signs of excessive sleepiness,” board-certified sleep medicine doctor and neurologist W. Christopher Winter, M.D, of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine, says.

And, of course, you could also feel wiped even though you know you got enough sleep. This is when you should consider you may just be more than tired.

Your excessive fatigue could be caused by something as minor as PMS, in female’s cases, or getting over a virus. Your immune system works hard to fend off an infection and can leave you feeling fatigued after being sick. Another cause of fatigue could be allergies. Feeling winded, coughing, and a runny nose are all common signs of allergies, but your immune system is kicked into high gear fighting off allergens and can leave you feeling worn out.

Clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D, confirms your mental health can take a toll on your energy too. Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness associated with depression can drain you. Clarks added: “If you aren’t sleeping well then you may be more tired, and in turn have more trouble sleeping,”

“Insomnia and mental health challenges are closely related and can exacerbate each other.”

According to Clark “anxiety in particular can be draining” and leave you just as fatigued. If you suspect you’re suffering from these symptoms, you should reach out to your mental health care professional.

If you suffer from diarrhoea, gas, and vomiting once you ingest gluten, or if you don’t feel well after having wheat, barley, or rye products, you talk to your doctor about getting tested for celiac disease. Feeling weak or fatigued, even without other symptoms, could also be a sign of celiac disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Extreme fatigue could also indicate Chronic fatigue syndrome – a disorder that causes extreme and unexplained fatigue. It gets worse with physical activity but doesn’t get better once you rest. Another condition that would leave you feeling fatigued, is anemia. Other symptoms can include pale or yellowish skin, shortness of breath, and cold hands and feet. Anemia can be determined by your doctor and resolved by taking an iron supplement.

Fatigue can also be a sign of a Thyroid problem. Your thyroid helps impact several important functions of your body and an under-active thyroid, known as hypothyroidism, can slow down your bodily functions and leave you feeling tired.

Hyperthyroidism on the other hand, a thyroid condition when your thyroid is overactive, speeds everything up and can cause insomnia and an inner restlessness.

Aging can affect the quality of your sleep, as you get older you may wake up more often and have a less consistent sleep pattern. If your fatigue is coupled with other symptoms or disrupts your daily life, it’s best to speak to your GP.

Affinity Health offers a range of competitively priced health insurance products that are designed to protect you and your family against unforeseen medical expenses… Affinity Health also offers hospital cover for individuals and families in the event of a medical emergency or severe illness.

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Preparing Your Immune System for Winter

Judging by the recent cold front that has dominated the weather reports for Cape Town and Johannesburg, (and quite honestly most of South Africa), it is pretty safe to say that winter is coming.

After a very hot summer and water restrictions, the rain is most welcome… but winter is known for bringing something much more ominous too… colds and flus! This is why investing in some of the most affordable medical insurance plans in South Africa is so important these days. You can choose from trustworthy providers such as One Plan Medical Insurance, Affinity Health Insurance, and many other reliable sources.

Now, the argument these days is that “germs make you sick, not cold weather”. This is true, but then why do we get sick more often in the winter months?

The Chicago Tribune reports that as winter drags on, so does the season for colds, stomach viruses, strep and the flu.

“It’s not clear why winter brings so many health woes”, says Pritish Tosh, an infectious-disease physician, and researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

“The reason one virus is a wintertime virus may not be the same reason another virus is a wintertime virus,” Tosh says. “We’re finding more and more that it’s not one size fits all.”

Tosh continues that people have observed seasonal illness spikes for centuries, dating back at least to the ancient Greeks. Since then, studies have documented some distinct patterns.

For example, winter is prime season for influenza, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But why?

Well, according to Healthline.com, In terms of infectious illnesses, germs make you sick, not cold weather itself. You have to come in contact with rhinoviruses to catch a cold. And you need to be infected with influenza viruses to contract the flu.

Rhinoviruses peak in spring and fall, and influenza viruses peak in winter.

While the cold can’t be the only reason, there is a connection between being chilled and getting sick: cold air may contribute to conditions that lead to illness.

So what can you do now, to prevent being sensitive to the influx of these viruses?

Well, start with loading your body with Vitamin C.

Vitamin C has long been known to be the number one flu fighter. Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges and guavas are great natural sources of the vitamins.

Fruit in general is a good immune system builder.

Perhaps, while the weather is still a bit sunny, enjoy a fruit salad, or a lovely homemade smoothie, packed with all of your favourite natural flavours.

The best thing to do, before the flu season hits is to get vaccinated.

Most chemists offer the vaccine in the months leading up to winter, however the most convenient way to get the shot is to visit your doctor’s office. This way, you could also get a full check-up, to see if getting the shot is the best choice for you. Investing in affordable health insurance is very beneficial.

Get enough rest!

Sleep is the body’s way of rejuvenating the cells. People who do not get enough rest are way more likely to get run down, which leave the door open for nasty colds and flus to attack your immune system.

Protein is key

Douglas Kalman, PhD, RD, director of nutrition and applied clinical trials at Miami Research Associates says “Research shows that diets that are too low in protein can deplete the immune system. So I make sure to get protein-rich foods throughout the day, especially fish, eggs and yogurt.”

Philip Tierno, PhD, author of The Secret Life of Germs says that you should sanitize your officie space!

“I clean everything that gets touched by lots of people—microwaves, fax-machine keys, doorknobs, elevator buttons, the armrests on my chair—with a good disinfectant at least once a week, even if it looks clean. It’s just basic hygiene. Rhinoviruses can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours!”

Cleanliness is also a very important role player in whether or not you get sick.

Washing your hands before you eat and after you leave public places can help you ingest fewer germs.

The World Health Organisation says; Influenza can spread quickly between people when an infected person coughs or sneezes, dispersing droplets of the virus into the air. It can be also spread by hands contaminated by the virus.

Precautionary measures should be taken to limit transmission.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing, then throw it out and wash their hands thoroughly and regularly. It is also courteous, for when you have the flu to not spread it to someone else!

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