In your life you will find you need a variety of medical professionals to get you over the humps and bumps. Whether it be a baby bump or a broken bone, healthcare is an inarguable need. There are specific times throughout your life when different types of healthcare services will be of utmost importance. Having medical cover to assist when these times arrive is vital. Unfortunately, South Africa’s healthcare services are not up to scratch. This results in long waiting periods for treatment and a lack of products or services available. These issues can see a patient sent from one hospital to another trying to find the appropriate specialist or treatment. Having medical cover, as simple as a hospital plan, can assist you when things go awry with your health.


Having an idea of what is necessary is important as it will affect the type of medical cover you choose throughout your life.



An obstetrician specialises in the treatment and monitoring of pregnant women. They take care of you throughout your pregnancy and during childbirth. They are surgeons and they have been trained to handle all types of birth from high-risk pregnancies to complicated births. They are likely to be gynaecologists too (a doctor who specialises in the reproductive system of women) and they will assist couples who are trying to fall pregnant. Having an obstetrician who is a gynaecologist and who you have a history with is ideal. Finding someone to help you when you first fall pregnant can be tricky and most women feel quite vulnerable during this time.



This doctor specialises in healthcare for children. They can diagnose concerns that range from physical through to behavioural and mental and they have a keen insight into the development of children. Many new mothers will have a paediatrician by their side when giving birth and because these doctors are present from the start, they often oversee the health of the newborn baby through until the child is a toddler or even older.



An endocrinologist will look specifically at diseases and concerns with the glands. This means they are the hormone doctor and without a normal hormonal balance you will feel awful in one way or another. Your glands are involved each and every time you fall ill but an endocrinologist can pinpoint any abnormalities that might occur within your glands. Some common conditions that require you to visit an endocrinologist are diabetes, menopause, thyroid complications, metabolic issues and cancers of the endocrine glands.



An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specialises in the treatment of the eye. They are the most qualified eye professionals in the field and they can diagnose diseases or conditions, as well as treat them and perform surgery. As people get older they might suffer with the very common eye complication called cataracts. Ophthalmologists can perform this surgery as well as any other eye surgery. They can prescribe and fit glasses and contact lenses.



Dentists get a real bad rap from most people. They are feared and no one wants to go and see them. All of their expertise is concerned with the teeth, gums, mouth and any related issues or areas. Diseases of the mouth and gums are very serious and can often be symptoms of greater issues,which means that visiting the dentist is really important. Taking your children to the dentist is extremely important too and they may even need braces as they grow up, which means that your dentist will advise an orthodontic surgeon who can assist with this. What’s more, as you age you may need dentures or partial dentures which dentists are able to fit for you.


Orthopaedic surgeon

These surgeons only come into play when there is something happening with your musculoskeletal system. Many of them will specialise in specific areas of the body or specialise in specific fields such as paediatrics, trauma or sports medicine. They make use of surgical and nonsurgical means to treat various concerns. Some more common concerns that orthopaedic surgeons treat are spine diseases such as sciatica and scoliosis, bone tumours, muscular dystrophy, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.


It is awful to think of visiting any of these medical professionals apart from your obstetrician for the birth of your child. But these are the doctors you’re most likely to see at some stage during your life, even if you are a very healthy individual. By having this type of list top of mind you can begin to choose healthcare cover that will afford you the opportunity to seek out these individuals as and when necessary. To protect the health of you and your family.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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