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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

versión On-line ISSN 2078-5135
versión impresa ISSN 0256-9574

SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. vol.104 no.2 Cape Town feb. 2014

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

The effects of obesity, smoking, and excessive alcohol intake on healthcare expenditure in a comprehensive medical scheme

 

 

S A Craven

Hon. Lecturer in Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, South Africa. E-mail: sacraven@mweb.co.za

 

 

To the Editor: In your November 2013 edition, Sturm et al.[1] confirm quantitatively that which we clinicians have known qualitatively for many years, viz. that 'obesity and tobacco use are associated with significantly increased healthcare expenditure'. This, and other research papers on the same issue, prompt me to ask when the Commissioner of Medical Schemes will permit the various medical aids to charge non-smokers, and those of an appropriate body mass index, a lower monthly premium? And when will the Provincial Health Departments charge appropriately higher fees for management of the preventable salvage work?

Why should those who look after themselves subsidise the feckless?

 

1. Sturm R, An R, Maroba J, Patel D. The effects of obesity, smoking, and excessive alcohol intake on healthcare expenditure in a comprehensive medical scheme. S Afr Med J 2013;103(11):840-844. [http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/SAMJ.7260]        [ Links ]

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