Affordable maternity care programme The Birthing Team has opened its doors at the Netcare Femina Hospital in Pretoria, one of a handful of dedicated maternity hospitals in the country. The programme delivers end-to-end maternity care in a private hospital, for a fixed all-inclusive fee. With teams already operational in Berea, Johannesburg and Durban City Centre, women without medical aid, as well as those on contracted schemes, can sign up to the programme.
“To ensure the best care for moms and babies, women interested in joining the programme are encouraged to come in for a scan at 12 weeks. At this appointment, we assess the development of the foetus and we can pick up if the baby has any problems. We can also refer include specialist care for complex and high-risk pregnancies early on,” says Dr Howard Manyonga, an obstetrician who heads up The Birthing Team.
As a part of the service, pregnancy and birth are overseen by medical teams made up of midwives and obstetricians. This promotes comprehensive and proactive care, making best use of private sector medical resources, all of which reduces the risks to mother and baby. The predetermined fixed price prevents unexpected costs and ensures families are not left seriously out of pocket.
Mothers-to-be book an initial comprehensive screening priced at R1 999 before signing on to the full programme, which costs an additional all-inclusive fee of R19 000, provided there are no clinical complex problems (there is a higher fee for patients with known complex problems). The fee that is discussed with the patient is set up front and includes all blood tests, at least three ultrasound scans and a minimum of eight antenatal visits – six with a midwife and two with an obstetrician, more if needed. The birth itself, mostly a normal vaginal delivery, is also covered, as are emergency caesarean sections, which are done when clinically necessary. After birth, there are follow-up visits at three days, 10 days and six weeks, ensuring both baby and mother are doing well.
Due to the proactive nature of the care programme, mothers who are 28 weeks or more pregnant are not eligible. The Birthing Team is also unable to offer the programme to women with certain serious systemic chronic conditions or who are at risk of delivering early. “Complex cases need to be referred to and managed by specialists working in the public sector. To keep the product affordable and sustainable, we are unable to manage certain medical conditions,” says Manyonga.
Interested mothers should contact The Birthing Team as early into their pregnancy as possible to book their first scan. Their regular check-ups take place in well-equipped consulting rooms and delivery takes place in the hospital’s maternity ward. Visit The Birthing Team’s website, www.thebirthingteam.co.za or call 012 304 1866 or look at our Facebook page for more information.
Distributed by Be-cause Integrated Communications
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Distributed on behalf of The Birthing Team
Head of Birthing Team at PPO Serve: Dr Howard Manyonga