Private Nutritional Therapy Practice

We are an independent private practice, not supported by medical aids. There are several reasons for this:

 

Some years ago the government deregulated applications from nutritionists and nutritional therapist making it practically impossible for nutritionists to get a practice number or to sign up with large medical aids. Some suspect that this was done due to pressure from pharmaceutical companies and processed food conglomerates as they see an obvious threat to profits when the average South African becomes more aware of food as medicine, choosing a natural rather than a pharmaceutical approach. Recently, there was an absolute uproar as herbs providing proven support and relief for depression and anxiety were removed from the self-medication shelves and scripts were required from GPs or psychiatrists to access these herbs (who ironically know nothing about the herbs, being outside their scope of practice). Example: 5-HTP.

 

Dieticians are granted practice numbers because their approach differs and they generally support pharmaceuticals and the medical model of care (e.g. hospitalisation and calories versus preventative medicine). However, even they have found that the level of compensation from medical aid schemes is insufficient. Clients are still required to pay in the majority of the cost (which becomes much higher) and are only granted 1-2 consultations at this rate of compensation. In turn, practitioners are forced to increase their fees by up to 3 times to include their annual subscription fees and all other associated costs of having this practice number.

 

In the long term, it’s simply better to operate as a private practice and be able to provide unbiased support and knowledge to our clients. Independent nutritional therapist are not motivated by rebates, medical aid incentives to promote certain products, or the pressure of charging inflated fees to cover practice costs. For these reasons, we operate as a private practice and charge accordingly as an alternative treatment practitioner. Our approach is proven and is sustainable in the long term.

 

Tip: When completing your personal tax, remember to include all non-redeemed medical expenses in your claims form as SARS may give you some sort of rebate.