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What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic, lifelong condition that affects your body’s ability to use the energy provided by food. Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease where the pancreas either does not produce any or enough insulin, which causes an excess of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Insulin is the hormone that assists your body cells to use glucose as energy for it to function properly.

Types of diabetes

There are two major types of the disease, namely:

  • Type 1 diabetes: occurs when blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high due to the body’s inability to produce the hormone insulin, which enables glucose to enter cells and fuel the body. It generally occurs in children and young adults and requires access to injectable insulin.
  • Type 2 diabetes: is the most common type of diabetes. It is a progressive condition whereby the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin (insulin resistance) and/or gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin in the pancreas. The good news is that steps can be taken to prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes.

The Bestmed Diabetes care programme

The Bestmed Diabetes care programme focuses on actively managing members with diabetes while taking into consideration any associated diseases/disorders, e.g. high cholesterol, high blood pressure etc. The programme is designed to assist the diabetic member and their dependants to live a constructive and rewarding life.

In 2019, we appointed Halocare to administer the Bestmed Diabetes care programme. Halocare is a managed care organisation that is fully accredited by the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS). The programme co-ordinates the different role players in diabetes disease management to achieve the best health outcomes for members. It acts as the main liaison between the member, the preferred healthcare provider and Bestmed.

The programme applies and reviews the latest clinical guidelines as recommended by national and international organisations. This is to ensure that members receive the most effective treatment plan and care for diabetes.


Programme benefits

  • Automatic enrolment once registered as a diabetic by Bestmed, at no additional cost
  • Access to specialised doctors and pharmacy networks
  • Access to diabetes nurse educators and clinical case managers
  • Access to primary care diabetes consultations at any Dis-Chem Pharmacy Clinic, including: HbA1c blood tests, physical assessment, counselling, education, and referrals
  • Emergency after-hours support
  • Educating members about living with diabetes
  • Empowering members to understand their condition and latest treatment norms better
  • Providing specialist assistance and advice to members’ treating family practitioner


Is diabetes a prescribed minimum benefit (PMB)?

Diabetes does qualify as a PMB. It forms part of the 26 chronic conditions that are included in the Chronic Disease List (CDL) as set out by the CMS.

How do I register?

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and registered at Bestmed as having diabetes, you will be automatically enrolled onto the Diabetes care programme, so there is no need to go through a lengthy enrolment process.

What will happen after I am registered?

You will be contacted by a case manager who will ask you a few questions to see how healthy you are and what the status is of your overall wellbeing.

Who do I contact if I have a question regarding diabetes?

You can contact any of our case managers and diabetes nurse educators by telephone and e-mail with any questions you may have. You will also receive information and education by means of a newsletter that will further empower you to manage your chronic condition better.

Why should I be part of the Bestmed Diabetes care programme?

  • Diabetes could lead to major health conditions if it not managed properly. Being a member of this programme assists you in managing your diabetes better
  • You can live a productive life, where diabetes is not viewed as an obstacle


If I am on the programme, must I go to another doctor?

No, you can still go to your current doctor.

What about confidentiality?

All information pertaining to your health status is treated with complete confidentiality.

What if I have an emergency?

What if I have an emergency? You have access to after-hours emergency support at any time, just call +27 (0)860 143 258 for help.

What is an HbA1c blood test?

A HbA1c blood test monitors how much sugar (glucose) is in your blood over an average time span of two to three months.

Why should I have regular HbA1c blood tests?

HbA1c is created when the sugar (glucose) attaches to your red blood cells and over time builds up in your body. Since these blood cells are active for a two to three-month period, you need to have your blood tests done regularly. Knowing your HbA1c blood level is important because it can help you manage your blood sugar levels, thus preventing complications associated with diabetes.

Why should I go for regular physical examination?

Diabetics must maintain a healthy lifestyle. To sustain a good quality of life, you must take action to prevent or slow down diabetic complications. Keep to regular physical and eye exams and follow instructions from your healthcare provider including adhering to your diabetes care plan, thereby assisting you in living a productive life.

Diabetes care programme

If you have any queries relating to the Diabetes care programme, contact: