Hello, I am new to this site & wondered whether someone was able to offer some guidance. My mother had a stroke (brain heamorrhage) on 29 December. She has lived in Cape Town for the last 18 years, but is British. She is now in step-down (sub-acute facility) which has been paid for by BUPA - she cannot talk or move, so we do not know what the final prognosis will be. My father has been contacted by BUPA who have informed him that the policy will only continue for another week (the annual cap has not been reached). When he asked them why, he was told they could not dicuss it with him & would need to discuss it with my mother. Clearly this is not possible and there is no such thing as an enduring power of attorney in South Africa. Has anyone had a similar experience with an insurance provider who can give me some advice? Any tips or pointers would be gratefully received. Kind regards Jane Attwood

Hi Jane and welcome. I'm sorry to hear abour your Mum. This is clearly a difficult time for all of you and the last thing you need is red tape to jump through.  I'm assuming from the reaction by BUPA the policy is in your Mum's name only and she has paid the premiums?  If it was me, I would seek advice from a solicitor in the UK as to what the legal course is regarding BUPA. He may be able to help you put a letter together to write to their HO explaining the position or give guidance on overseas law to get help for your Mum.  

If your Mum is British, and she receives a state pension (not sure of her age)  you could apply to be an Appointed Nominee for your Mum. This isn't a power of attorney but someone who is appointed by the State to handle your Mum's pension (not the rest of her finances) when they are incapable of doing it themselves physically.  I was one for my Mum when she became bedridden and moved into a care home.  Her pension was paid into a separate current opened in my name so the care home could set up a direct debit on it to pay their fees.  As my Mum never had a current account and couldn't physically get into a bank to open one, this was arranged quite swiftly by the DWP.  The current account had to be completely separate from  our finances for obvious reasons and had to be available for inspection by the DWP at any time.  As my Mum didn't own her own home, the care home took all  of her pension except a small amount of 'pocket money' per week to pay for her fees.

In your Mum's case, it may not cover all the fees of the hospital she is in but it may help until BUPA get their act together and continue with the payments.  I hope you manage to find a solution and your Mum gets the help she needs.

Thank you so much for the advice, I have approached a solicitor, and hope that he will be able to help.

Kind regards