NetcarePlus : Blending Expert Care with Product Innovation

Cameron LawrenceLauren Kania
Cameron Lawrence - Project Manager Lauren Kania - Editor
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Highlights
  • Born from Netcare, the largest private healthcare group in SA, NetcarePlus set out with the intent to make private healthcare more accessible to South Africans.
  • NetcarePlus gives everyday people more ways to access private care through world-class doctors and facilities, whether they have medical aid or not.
  • The heartbeat of NetcarePlus is the people who comprise the company and the diverse culture that encourages continuous growth, improvement, and communication.
  • “We are different from the competition for one simple reason: we provide access to healthcare, not just funding products,” says Teshlin Akaloo, Managing Director.

Bringing affordable private healthcare to more people, NetcarePlus is a new way for people across South Africa to receive quality medical treatment, no matter their backgrounds. Teshlin Akaloo, Managing Director, tells us more about the company’s promise and mission for a more accessible healthcare future for all.

BLENDING EXPERT CARE WITH PRODUCT INNOVATION

We have all been in a situation where a loved one needed urgent attention but couldn’t get the necessary care due to affordability constraints. 

“Growing up, I saw many family members in compromised health situations because they couldn’t afford to join a medical scheme.” 

This all-too-common experience, as recalled by Teshlin Akaloo, Managing Director, is part of the inspiration behind NetcarePlus, a new affordable way to get private healthcare in South Africa (SA). 

Bringing people private healthcare products that offer better access to quality care, higher coverage for emergencies and unexpected costs, and more value for day-to-day needs, NetcarePlus doesn’t just provide medical insurance and prepaid healthcare; it gives everyday people more ways to access private care through world-class doctors and facilities, whether they have medical aid or not.  

Born from Netcare, the largest private healthcare group in SA, NetcarePlus set out with the intent to make private healthcare more accessible to South Africans. 

“Given that private healthcare is largely accessed by individuals who belong to a medical scheme, we wanted to provide alternative ways to make private healthcare a reality for more people. We adopted an approach focused on solving the medical needs of people by providing certainty in accessing private healthcare in a cost-effective and straightforward manner,” details Akaloo. 

The company has been able to introduce a range of products and ensure they reach the end user through partnering with various financial service providers in the market. Amid the current regulatory environment, NetcarePlus’ goal is to address clients’ primary, secondary, and tertiary needs through a plethora of products and solutions. 

Ultimately, the company is motivated by a belief in the sanctity of human life, viewing it as a privilege to serve the South African people in a time of need and vulnerability. 

REVOLUTIONISING HEALTHCARE IN SA

In 2019, when Dr Richard Friedland, CEO of Netcare, contacted Akaloo to discuss his vision of making healthcare more accessible to South Africans, it deeply resonated with him. 

“This was not only because of my passion for being in the healthcare delivery space but also because it reminded me of the struggles my loved ones faced when they couldn’t afford private healthcare. At that moment, I realised I could help make a difference in people’s lives,” he reflects. 

Despite pursuing a degree to become an actuary, Akaloo quickly immersed in solving SA’s market needs in his first job as an Actuarial Analyst, discovering a passion for developing innovative solutions to address real-world challenges. 

In every role since, he has aimed to fulfil this passion, driven to make a meaningful impact. 

“Currently, the provision of healthcare in SA is a real challenge that needs solving. When Netcare approached me, the opportunity spoke to the very thing that drives my purpose and what I stand for – helping to make a tangible difference,” further details Akaloo. 

Subsequently, the company has come to set itself apart from the rest of the competition in a variety of ways. 

The NetcarePlus names was created to demonstrate that people can obtain private healthcare plus have an alternative way to afford it. By packaging funding products with healthcare provision, the company is uniquely placed to deliver its promise of quality healthcare to all. 

“We are different from the competition for one simple reason: we provide access to healthcare, not just funding products,” insights Akaloo. 

“At NetcarePlus, we pride ourselves on our values and competitive edge. Being a healthcare provider first and foremost means that we own the value chain and, as a result, the entire client experience. We always provide healthcare, not just insurance.” 

THE NETCARE PROMISE

With a promise to care for its clients in a way that places them and their families at the centre of everything the company does, Netcare provides the best and safest care when and where people need it most.  

This was most succinctly demonstrated during the recent COVID-19 pandemic when the company pivoted itself entirely to ensure it could treat those in need of medical care. 

“With hospitals around the country, we conducted multiple daily online meetings to ensure we were adequately prepared to best treat the patients we expected to see, bearing in mind that the treatment modalities were evolving daily,” details Akaloo. 

“During this period of great uncertainty, we did everything possible to preserve the sanctity of life.” 

This promise to protect and safeguard the South African people also extends to the projects and research NetcarePlus is developing to further the products and opportunities it is able to offer its clients. 

Recently, the company launched several products aimed at transforming paradigms in the current insurance space, including two highly distinguished insurance initiatives – EmergencyCare and GapCare. 

“We recognise that in a medical emergency, time saves lives. The ability to get the right paramedic as quickly as possible, transport people to the right facility, and have the right team of medical professionals ready to receive them can make the difference between life and death,” Akaloo explains. 

Young nurse helping elderly man

“As such, our EmergencyCare product leverages our world-class emergency services, Netcare 911, and our facilities to deliver comprehensive emergency healthcare.” 

EmergencyCare is the only product in the market that provides unlimited medical treatment costs in an emergency, and NetcarePlus is steadfast in its belief that this is crucial in delivering on its promise of providing certainty and peace of mind in an emergency without fear that one’s healthcare costs may exceed their benefit limits. 

Similarly, gap cover products have grown in favour among medical scheme members due to increasing out-of-pocket expenses resulting from changes in medical scheme rules. 

“Our GapCare product was designed when looking at instances where members incur out-of-pocket expenses and how we can best deliver a smooth experience throughout their healthcare journey. As a result, we have built unique features into our product based on real client needs,” expands Akaloo.   

The scale of these projects, alongside others NetcarePlus is currently exploring, is insurmountable. By constantly exploring new ways to blend compassion with cutting-edge capabilities, the company is setting the standard for high-quality and dedicated service. 

A HEALTHIER, MORE ACCESSIBLE FUTURE

The heartbeat of NetcarePlus is the people who comprise the company and the diverse culture that encourages continuous growth, improvement, and communication. 

“Our goal has always been to foster a culture that nurtures creativity and provides ample opportunities for people to grow professionally and personally,” prides Akaloo. 

“We have always aimed to hire people who are better than ourselves at what they do. As leaders, our job is to set down a vision that is crafted as a collective and then remove obstacles for people so that they can be the best they can.”  

Akaloo credits the diverse and collaborative thinking of the team, who came together and built the business from the ground up in record time, officially launching NetcarePlus into the market in April 2021. 

“This was made possible by their unparalleled diversity of skills, a feat that is a privilege to witness in action on a daily basis.” 

Parallel to the momentous emphasis placed upon Netcare’s people is the organisation’s imperative of working towards a more sustainable future. 

One such initiative is MyWalk, a programme that has provided more than 200,000 pairs of shoes made from recycled PVC to underserved school children and diverting the thermoplastic polymer from landfills. 

Netcare prioritises contributing to society at large beyond just its healthcare delivery chain. As the company continues to look towards the future, it aims to find more innovative ways to solve the healthcare needs of South Africans and, in doing so, introduce more products into the market. 

“I learned from my brother a long time ago that if you are better than someone at something, it is your responsibility to help, and if you can’t help, don’t take away,” concludes Akaloo. 

This is the mindset that NetcarePlus maintains as it works day in, day out to provide the best and safest care for its clients, no matter their background. 

NETCAREPLUS PARTNERS

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By Cameron Lawrence Project Manager
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Cameron Lawrence is a Project Manager for Healthcare Outlook. Cameron is responsible for showcasing corporate stories in our digital B2B magazines and Digital Platforms, and sourcing collaborations with Business Leaders, Brands, and C-suite Executives to feature in future editions. Cameron is actively seeking opportunities to collaborate. Reach out to Cameron to discover how you and your business could be our next cover story.
By Lauren Kania Editor
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Lauren Kania is an in-house writer for Healthcare Outlook Magazine, where she is responsible for interviewing corporate executives and crafting original features for the magazine, corporate brochures, and the digital platform.