When can my doctor charge me for a follow up visit after surgery?

A question many patients often have, is when or why their doctor charged them for a follow up visit after surgery.

South African ethical guidelines state that any aftercare post surgery is covered for a period of 30 days. This excludes grommets, for which the prescribed period is 10 days. This means that your doctor may not charge you for follow up visits RELATED TO THE SURGERY, for approximately a month post op.

However, if you consult for a new problem that is clearly unrelated to the surgery, that visit may be charged for. For example, if you have surgery to remove your tonsils, but then complain about a lump behind the ear, you can be charged a fee. If on the other hand, you complain about ear pain, it MAY be related to the surgery, in which case no fee will be charged.