Discovery Health Medical Scheme will offer specialised health coaches to members in 2020.

The medical scheme said that the coaches are qualified in a number of health-related fields such as psychology, nutrition and health coaching.

The group said that this was particularly important as a large number of members experience life-changing events every day, including:

24 cancer diagnoses a day;
8 non-fatal heart attacks a day;
313 new chronic diagnoses a day.
“Life-changing diagnoses require complex medical intervention. The greater the complexity and frequency of care, the more important it is to coordinate this care. Discovery Health has extensive experience in guiding members with complex medical conditions through their healthcare journeys.

“In 2020, Discovery will utilise this experience and enhance the healthcare journeys of members through the introduction of Discovery Coaches,” it said.

Discovery said that the coaches will primarily work within the cardia, oncology and diabetes programmes.

Their core functions will be to hold motivational interviews to understand member motivation for behaviour change and goal setting and tracking to help members set and reach realistic but challenging goals.

They will also offer education on conditions, benefits and interventions, the importance of lifestyle changes and self-management.

Discovery said that this will have a number of benefits for members including:

Better-quality care through a coordinated approach across multiple providers within the healthcare system;
Better management of your holistic health and wellbeing;
Improved understanding of your medical scheme benefits;
Support and guidance through human interaction in your time of need.
The new coach programme will be available to members in 2020.