If COVID-19 is the next major war our world needs to fight, it’s one health authorities around the world are ready to defend – together. Healthcare workers are humanity’s warriors at the frontline and they need our support to combat COVID-19.
That’s why Discovery Health teams and stakeholders have formulated a plan that will best support our country’s healthcare workers as they face this highly infectious disease - day in and day out.
Discovery Health and Discovery Health Medical Scheme have created a comprehensive set of initiatives for our healthcare workers to get through the challenges they themselves face while trying to best manage this health crisis.
FREE access to Discovery Healthy Company
A wellness solution, once tailored for the needs of Discovery employees, this facility will now be open to private and public sector healthcare workers to use.
Discovery Healthy Company is structured to assist with providing support in a physical, emotional and financial capacity. Cutting-edge technology through the Discovery app or website provides tailored support and intervention tools to assist with improving an individual’s wellbeing.
The COVID-19 pandemic has already immensely affected our frontline heroes – physically, emotionally and financially too. Aside from an increased risk for potential infection themselves, healthcare personnel are working long hours under extreme pressure. For many, the toll of fatigue, burnout and psychological distress is a likely effect – with an increased risk of anxiety, depression and insomnia or other sleep disturbances.
That’s why Discovery Healthy Company has opened this support channel. We will make sure to appropriately provide emotional and financial guidance where needed during this highly stressful and uncertain time for healthcare workers. While the country’s healthcare teams work to keep society as safe and healthy as possible, they too need extra support.
Benefits of access include:
- Preventive and educational management assistance in areas of mental, emotional, physical, financial and legal challenges.
- Confidential counselling advice from accredited coaches by telephone or virtual chat on the Discovery app or website.
- Access to an array of support professionals – including trauma counsellors, registered psychologists, social workers and legal and financial experts.
- Access to referral services, including wellness programmes administered by Discovery Health.
- Access to online lifestyle management services – including a comprehensive library of educational material, tools and assessments to assist in managing emotional challenges.
For healthcare professionals, access to this highly comprehensive support facility will be free. Those medical professionals on Vitality Active Rewards for doctors can immediately activate the benefit through the Discovery app.
All other healthcare professionals who want to use the service can contact Discovery Health on:
- Telephone: 0800 320 420
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistance with much-needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
As infection rates increase, so too does the need for an adequate supply of personal protective equipment. For healthcare workers, this is essential to protect themselves and others they come into contact with while they support and treat patients in need.
Funded by the newly set-up Solidarity Fund (a public-private partnership), personal protective equipment gear is being sourced and stored for distribution to healthcare professionals in both public and private medical facilities, as needed.
Currently, a similar process has not yet been put in place for sourcing and distribution for general practitioners, who are also at the frontline of care for the public. That’s why, in collaboration with SAMA (South African Medial Association) and the UFFP, Discovery Health has established a similar set-up to assist GPs with the same necessary gear.
GPs can request directly from Discovery Health, which will arrange a supply of stock for them.
Full funding for flu vaccines as we gear up for winter
As we head into flu season, the demand for vaccines is expected to increase as a way to help reduce additional strain on our healthcare systems. Local healthcare authorities have advised all South Africans to get a flu shot this year to avoid falling ill with seasonal influenza during an active COVID-19 outbreak.
For all healthcare professionals who are members, cover for flu vaccines has been extended by Discovery Health Medical Scheme. This extension follows published guidance by the Department of Health due to an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Healthcare professionals who are members of the medical scheme will automatically be able to access this benefit once registered. Healthcare professionals that are members and who wish to register for the benefit can do so here.
Access to educational support
The Healthcare Professional section of our COVID-19 information hub curates the latest clinical guidance and scientific research so you can keep up-to-date with all the COVID-19 developments, both locally and internationally.
Together with SAMA, IPAF, SAPPF and other authoritative healthcare organisations, Discovery Health will provide access to education support initiatives, including webinars with leading experts to help provide and share the latest information available.
Information shared will help guide healthcare workers on developments relating to transmission, symptom management, treatment, and prevention measures. This will help to better inform care and treatment practice in our country’s facilities, best protecting us all.
All medical information found on this website including content, graphics and images, is for educational and informational objectives only. Discovery Health publishes this content to help to protect and empower all South Africans by promoting a better understanding of COVID-19.
The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has caused an outbreak of fatal respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. This is a completely new strain with no vaccines available. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
No country is immune to the spread of the Novel Coronavirus - officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO). The outbreak has reached pandemic proportions and been declared a global public health emergency.
As toddlers, we learnt to wash our hands. But, did we ever master the skill to the extent that is needed to wash pathogens off our hands, and save lives? Multiple studies show people don't wash their hands at the right times, in the right way or for the right amount of time. We contaminate the things and people we touch with the germs we carry on our hands.