FIND A THERAPIST
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Finding a therapist specially qualified in the management and treatment of lymphoedema is very important. In order to treat lymphoedema correctly, safely and cost effectively, Lymphoedema Therapists require post graduate training in the Management of Lymphoedema from a recognised training programme or institute. In South Africa a Lymphoedema Therapist may be a nurse, occupational therapist, physiotherapist or medical doctor who has completed the additional training and certification in Complex Decongestive Therapy/ Complex Lymphoedema Therapy. A Lymphoedema Therapist must also be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.
With regards to funding for Lymphoedema Treatment by Medical Aid Schemes, particularly where the lymphoedema is related to cancer, some medical aids will only fund the treatment from the Oncology Benefit when provided by a Certified Lymphoedema Therapist. LAOSA has lobbied (and continues to do so) for medical aids to cover the treatment for lymphoedema. Great progress has been made for funding for people with oncology related lymphoedemas, but unfortunately for people with primary and vascular related lymphoedemas funding is still very limited.