Medical aid reneges on treatment

BATTLING TO BREATHE: Danie Vermaak with his wife, Suzette, who suffers from Pompe disease. Their medical aid refuses to pay for treatment
BATTLING TO BREATHE: Danie Vermaak with his wife, Suzette, who suffers from Pompe disease. Their medical aid refuses to pay for treatment

Suzette Vermaak, of Mandini on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, cannot stand up any more and can barely use her hands.

Vermaak, 49, has adult onset Pompe disease and desperately needs a drug that will improve her breathing and help her walk again.

But her medical aid, Bestmed – which acknowledges that the disease is a prescribed minimum benefit condition – will not pay for the treatment, calling it unaffordable.

The Medical Schemes Act states that diseases falling under a prescribed minimum benefit must be treated by law.

-Katharine Child

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