The April long-weekends are here and we’re all looking forward to well-earned rest and time out. “We don’t want to think about dealing with a medical emergency at the best of times – let alone during the holidays,” says Dr Noluthando Nematswerani, Head of the Centre for Clinical Excellence at Discovery Health.

“However, we all know that medical emergencies can take place at any time and the best way to minimise their impact is to be prepared for them.”

“We pride ourselves in providing funding for world-class, comprehensive medical care for members of Discovery Health Medical Scheme (DHMS). This includes ensuring that, when scheme members face an emergency, they have access to timeous, optimal care through Discovery Emergency Assist – a service available to members 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Whether you’re dealing with a burn injury, sprains or broken bones, food poisoning, allergic reaction, injuries or trauma, or any other sort or any form of medical emergency, keep Discovery Emergency Assist in mind.

“Calls to Discovery Emergency Assist are managed by our highly qualified personnel who can assess each case and initiate the most appropriate air or road evacuation based on procedures and resources available within a specific geographical area.”

Who has access to this benefit?

The Emergency Services and Trauma Support benefit offers comprehensive assistance for those who have been through a traumatic event and is available to all members of Discovery Health Medical Scheme. Members can also access additional Scheme benefits, as required by each individual’s unique circumstances, and these are unlocked as the member proceeds through the dedicated high-touch journey.

What to do in the event of an emergency where you are able to speak:

  • Call Discovery 911 by dialling 0860 999 911, our Emergency Line operated by Netcare 911, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

TOP TIP: Save 0860 999 911 to your priority phone contacts

  • You will connect with highly qualified emergency personnel.
  • We will immediately dispatch the most appropriate emergency medical service within your geographic area.

What to do in the event of an emergency where you’re not able to speak

If you need help in an emergency and cannot speak, you have access to our panic alert system on the Discovery app. As soon as you click the “Emergency assist” option on the app, you can choose from two options – “Call me back” or “Call an emergency operator”. This service signals an alarm without requiring verbal identification.

If you activate this panic alert, we will contact you immediately and if there is no response, we will use technology to locate you – but please make sure you have your GPS location services on to enable this. We will send an emergency vehicle to help you.

Discovery Emergency Assist also offers dedicated support related to gender-based violence

Scheme members who experience gender-based violence and related, traumatic crime have access to immediate and confidential trauma support and scheme benefits from Discovery’s Emergency Services and Trauma Support benefit.

  • To access the service, call Discovery 911 on 0860 999 911 and select option 5 for support with gender‑based violence. Our dedicated team will guide you, help you understand which healthcare services you will need during this time and make sure that you get access to the appropriate medical scheme benefits. Our dedicated team will offer confidential support and advice to you and your family throughout your traumatic event.
  • Want to know more about gender-based violence? Listen to our podcasts dedicated to this theme with input from Miss South Africa 2019, Sasha-Lee-Olivier, Mara Glennie, who started the TEARS Foundation,  attorney Lindsay Henson (from Lawyers against Abuse) and Trauma Counsellor Lana Snoyman.

Find out more

Visit our website at to find out more about how you are covered during a traumatic event, or read our Emergency Services Guide in full. You can also refer to your health plan guide under Medical Aid > Manage your health plan > Find important documents and certificates.


Discovery Health Medical Scheme, registration number 1125, is regulated by the Council for Medical Schemes and administered by Discovery Health (Pty) Ltd, registration number 1997/013480/07, an authorised financial services provider.

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