“Internationally, women have huge purchasing power – amounting to an estimated US$20 trillion in annual consumer spending, which is the equivalent of R275.5 trillion in local currency. Since the advent of democracy in South Africa, we are seeing the number of women in more senior positions growing and with this comes increased spending power.
“This is not, however, a necessary qualifier for a woman to influence the health and wellbeing of her family, friends and community. At Resolution Health, 43 percent of our principal members are women, however they are also influential when it comes to healthcare and related matters by virtue of their relationships – even in cases where they are not directly paying for it themselves,” says Khomot?o Mashalane, head of strategic relations and human resources at Resolution Health Medical Scheme.
She added that the potential for women to positively impact the health of others is not necessarily dictated by their personal financial means.
“The lion’s share of caring for children and family members often rests with women, who are also key influencers of their social circles and wider community networks. When it comes to the healthcare needs of a family, women frequently take an active role in decision-making and share their knowledge to empower others.
“As women are traditionally the primary care givers in a family, they are usually consulted before decisions are made about with the family’s healthcare – it is therefore not surprising that women are commonly regarded as custodians of family health.
“Women are often the ones who take the time to read all the fine print, weighing up the various medical scheme benefit options to decide which offers the most relevant value for their family’s particular healthcare needs. This attention to detail helps to ensure that the principal member makes an informed choice when it comes to selecting healthcare cover.”
Khomot?o points out that women are also at the centre of many social and community relationships and, as such, have the capacity to influence the opinions of a wider circle.
“Often, women have good communication skills and will share their experience widely. As astute and empowered consumers, women will usually tell others when they have a positive experience and can become a company’s greatest brand ambassadors. The flip side of the coin is that dissatisfied female consumers may also be vocal critics if they feel they are not getting quality service or value for money,” Khomot?o observes.
Resolution Health offers a range of benefit options to suit the needs of individuals and families at every life stage, including an exceptional maternity programme for members wanting to start a family and preventative care benefits that include health checks such as mammogram and pap smear, cholesterol and blood pressure screenings, among others.
Khomot?o says that women often display a level of concern for their loved ones that can detect a potential health concern before it progresses to become obviously noticeable – even to the person experiencing it.
“As mothers, women often interpret subtle signs that their child is unwell when the child is too young to express what is troubling them. Women tend to have a more developed awareness that the absence of illness is not the same as good health.
“In adult members of the family, this ‘female intuition’ can also sometimes help a woman to perceive when something is not quite right with the health of those she is close to. This is when a woman may encourage her loved one to see their family doctor so that if it is found that there is something amiss, steps can be taken to address it as early as possible.”
According to Khomot?o, a good medical scheme assists women in taking care of the family’s health needs.
“A medical scheme should be a supportive partner when it comes to safeguarding the health of a family, providing for preventative and curative care. At Resolution Health, we salute women for the role they play in supporting the health of our nation and strive to be the partner of choice when it comes to providing for the healthcare of their families,” she concludes.