FAQs

paliative-care2

These are some of the questions we’re often asked by patients or family members.

If you have other questions, please get in touch with us by calling (+27) 87 550 3399 or emailing info@alignd.co.za.

Some people feel nervous when they hear the word “palliative”, but accepting this kind of care does not mean you are dying, and it does not mean you are giving up. In fact, anxiety, depression, fatigue and pain can set in at the beginning of treatment — palliative care trained practitioners understand the stresses that patients and their families face and can help them to cope. With better all-round care, good symptom management, and a comprehensive and holistic home-based care plan in place, patients are not only able to carry on their daily life, but also better able to undergo or complete their medical treatments.

We’re here to make it as stress-free as possible, and to help you and your family navigate that journey.

No, we are not a hospice organisation. If you don’t want hospice to be involved in your care, that is perfectly OK. We want to provide care where the patient wants it which is usually at their home. Unlike hospice, the palliative care provided by Alignd can be received simultaneously with curative treatment and is offered as an extra layer of support to all other appropriate treatments.

The Alignd Benefit is a comprehensive care benefit available to all eligible Fedhealth and Bonitas members (on any plan), at no extra cost. You will have cover to receive meaningful physical and emotional support from when you are diagnosed with advanced stage or metastatic cancer. For those with more intensive care needs, the benefit does also cover end-of-life care.

We will be partnering with more medical schemes in the near future, and you can also enrol with Alignd as a private patient. Give us a call or drop us an email to find out more.

Patients with serious cancer consistently report finding more comfort and support with a palliative care trained team on their side than without it. With better all-around care, symptom management, and a comprehensive and holistic home-based care plan in place, patients are less likely to require emergency services, hospitalisation and ICU stays. Family members feel more supported too.

The palliative care team works in collaboration with your involved healthcare practitioners, including your treating oncologist and the family GP.

No, this kind of extra care is provided by the specially trained team of doctors, nurses and other professionals who work together with your treating oncologist and other involved doctors such as your GP. We work in partnership with the Association of Palliative Care Practitioners of South Africa (Palprac). You can receive this extra layer of support while you are having curative treatment. It’s a team approach, that puts you back in control of your illness journey, and can really improve the quality of your life when you most need it.

For those with cancer support needs, we cover an initial consultation with a palliative care trained doctor to assess your needs holistically – beyond your cancer treatment alone. Counselling for you and your family is included, as is putting in place an advance healthcare plan or living will. Three follow-up doctor consultations, and two follow-up social worker consultations per year are also covered so you’re supported throughout your treatment journey.

Should your illness be more progressed, the Alignd Benefit offers more intensive support, including home-based palliative care, medication for symptom relief, hospital bed-hire, and limited home-based care (336 hours i.e. 2 weeks of 24-hour care or equivalent) at the end of life (this is not a replacement for frail care).

If you have been diagnosed with advanced cancer:

  • Contact Alignd directly at referrals@alignd.co.za, even if you just want to find out more.
  • If you are with Fedhealth or Bonitas, you can contact them directly and ask for a referral.
  • Your doctor and social worker may also provide you with information about the Alignd Benefit and how it can help you – they can also refer you to access the benefit.

Once you have been referred to Alignd, your doctor will need to fill out the enrolment form to sign and send back to us. Alignd will then connect you to a palliative care doctor to assist you and your family. Click here to download the enrolment form.

If you have been diagnosed with serious cancer but don’t feel the need for extra support at the moment, we recommend you still enroll with Alignd. This step ensures that a team and a plan is ready and accessible for when you may want the extra support. If you are with one of our partnered medical schemes (currently Bonitas and Fedhealth), there is no cost to joining us, and earlier intervention typically leads to better outcomes for patients and their families.

The Alignd Benefit offers that extra layer of specialised care and support for patients – it’s not a replacement of existing care. The palliative care team works in collaboration with involved healthcare practitioners, including the treating oncologist and the family GP.

Sometimes, even doctors think palliative care is for end of life only, and don’t want to refer their patients for fear of scaring them.  If you want to access this kind of ongoing support, let your doctor know that you would like to have the Alignd care team, and his or her care too.

Your doctor can contact us if they have any questions at all.

The enrolment form needs to be completed and signed by one of your treating doctors – it could be your GP or oncologist. If you don’t have an appointment with them soon, you can simply email the form to your doctor and ask that they complete and send it on to us. You can download the form here.

If your doctor hasn’t yet heard of the Alignd Benefit, you could suggest they get in touch with us to find out more.

Yes, there is a Remote Access Benefit for patients in outlying areas. This benefit covers for the patient’s chosen GP to provide the majority of palliative care services, with peer-to-peer support from a palliative care trained doctor, in collaboration with other involved healthcare practitioners including the treating oncologist.

The Alignd Benefit is a comprehensive care benefit available to all eligible Fedhealth and Bonitas members (on any plan), at no extra cost.

We will be partnering with more medical schemes in the near future, and you can also enrol with Alignd as a private patient. Give us a call or drop us an email to find out more. You can also give your scheme a nudge by sending them a letter requesting that they contract our benefit.

You may have received a call or email from us. As a formal partner of the contracted medical schemes, we have access to relevant member data. The scheme asks us to contact you and to inform you about the Alignd Benefit when you have been identified as someone as potentially eligible for the benefit. The benefit is at no extra charge to you as a member of these schemes.

Please feel very welcome to call or email us back. Our care partners who contact members operate part-time so if you are not able to reach them please call us on: (+27) 87 550 3399 or email us on info@alignd.co.za.

Our care partners who contact members operate part-time so if you are not able to reach them please call us on: (+27) 87 550 3399 or email us on info@alignd.co.za.  Alternatively leave a WhatsApp message/email and our team will get back to you as soon as possible. 

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