Overview

Who was Dr Marius Barnard?

 Dr Marius Barnard was born in a small town in South Africa known as Beaufort. His parents understood the importance of a good education and they made sure that Marius and his brother Christian received the best education they could offer.

Owing to this effort made by his parents both the Barnard sons went on to pursue medicine and become cardiac surgeons.

The year 1967 brought huge changes in his career and life, when on the 3rd of December; Marius assisted his brother Christian in performing the first-ever human to human heart transplant. The transplant was performed at the Groote Schuur Hospital in South Africa.

What led to the development of Critical Illness Insurance?

Dr Marius describes his experience in medicine and spoke about the changes that he witnessed both in medical need of his patients and the financial needs of his patients.

However, the particular event that encouraged him to do something about this need was the death of a 34-year-old cancer patient. The patient, a divorcee and a mother of two were diagnosed with lung cancer and Dr Marius along with his colleagues operated and removed her lung. The woman was discharged five days later and joined work almost 3 weeks later, but that wasn’t all. About two years after the operation, the lady visited Marius and by the very sight of her, he could tell that cancer her recurred. After giving her an examination he concluded that she was now in the terminal stages of cancer. Despite having a very hard time walking and just staying at her feet, the women informed that she had just come from work and the answer to why she had been working at this very dier state was because she needed the money.

The women died a few weeks later and it was then that an insurance company paid out a death benefit, a good amount that could have been used to keep her alive.  This among many other incidents encouraged him to approach an insurance company and discuss the idea of a policy that would help provide for this particular financial need of patients.

In this way, Dr Marius Barnard was the creator of critical illness insurance and his life story drew the map from the first patient to patient heart transplant and critical illness insurance.



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