Discovery’s new Diabetic Retinopathy screening program

For those of you living with or caring for someone with diabetes, it is important to be aware that persistently high blood sugar levels, which are characteristic of diabetes, causes damage to blood vessels throughout the body.

This damage is more apparent in smaller blood vessels, such as those present at the back of the eyes. Diabetic Retinopathy is a complication that damages these delicate blood vessels, which over time damages the retina and, in extreme cases, causes blindness.

The key to effectively treating Diabetic Retinopathy and preventing loss of vision is early detection. That is why it is imperative for individuals with diabetes to screen their eyes regularly. For this reason, Discovery has introduced a new Diabetic Retinopathy screening program.

Who has access to this program?

It goes without saying that Discovery Health Medical Scheme members have access to the new Diabetic Retinopathy screening benefit. More specifically, members on all Discovery Medical Aid plan types who are registered on the Chronic Illness Benefit (CIB) for Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can gain access to this program. These members do not need any extra authorisations.

What does this Program Include?

This program entitles children and adults who are registered on the CIB to a yearly screening. This is paid for from the scheme benefits and not from your Medical savings or Above Threshold Benefit (ATB), where applicable.

Where can you go for Screening?

Most members can visit a participating optometrist or doctor to be screened for Diabetic Retinopathy. However, certain members can only be screened by an ophthalmologist (a specialist eye doctor). Members who can only be screen by the specialist include:

  1. Individuals younger than 18 years.

  2. Those who display symptoms such as:

  • Vision loss that can’t be corrected.

  • Blurred vision.

  • Experience floaters ( dots, strings/cobwebs that drift in and out of your field of vision)

  1. Pregnant women.

  2. Individuals who have a history of retinal surgery, laser treatment of the retina or intraocular injections.

How to find a Network Doctor?

Individuals can find a participating optometrist who is a part of the Discovery network by logging on to the Discovery website and following these steps:

  1. Locate Medical Aid.

  2. Select Find a doctor.

  3. Click Find a doctor close to you.

  4. Search for an Optometrist in a conveniently located area.

  5. Select Cover.

  6. Deselect Full network Cover

  7. Choose Additional/Other Cover to select Diabetic Retinopathy Screening

For any questions and further information regarding your Medical Aid, contact a financial advisor at PBA.

Contact us:

Phone: 011 803 9686

Email: or

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