You may have noticed the #CancelDiscovery hashtag popping like corn on Twitter. At the time of publishing, the Discovery hashtag accumulated nearly 5 000 tweets with no signs of slowing down.
Turns out there are two reasons why the hashtag is suddenly so popular, and it’s tied to news articles from 2014 and 2019, respectively. Here’s what we know.
Why is Cancel Discovery trending on Twitter?
Discovery CEO splurges on R103 million luxury pad
One netizen shared two screenshots on Twitter. The first was from a news report published on 14 April 2014, titled: “Discovery CEO Adrian Gore splash R103m on luxury pad in New York”.
This after the founder and chief of Discovery also spent approximately R25 million on a sea-facing apartment in Clifton, Cape Town the year before.
As reported by Eprop, Gore’s 15th-floor New York apartment “boasts solid white oak and Italian marble floors, three bathrooms and a powder room”, and had been on the market for nine months.
In addition to the Clifton and New York properties, Gore also owns “a home in Johannesburg’s Inanda, another in Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape, and a New York penthouse that he bought for about R45.7-million in 2011”.
Mom dies after Discovery stopped paying
This brings us the second news report: “KZN mom dies after Discovery Health stops paying the doctor for dialysis”, published by IOL on 22 June 2019.
The 53-year-old mother’s family told reporters that Discovery Health allegedly stopped paying her practitioner. The patient was directed to another centre in Richardsbay, which was too far from their home.
The doctor reportedly told IOL that she “was running out of consumables, equipment and other items used to perform dialysis and had to borrow from other facilities”.
She had also been treating patients pro bono, but at a cost of about R2 000 per session – and with some patients requiring up to three treatments per week – the doctor simply couldn’t help everyone.
When the patient’s condition deteriorated, family members and the doctor contacted Discovery to intervene. Unfortunately, the patient passed away soon after.
— Mulalo Matshikiri (@MulaloMatshiki1) April 14, 2021
South Africans react to #CancelDiscovery
Needless to say, South Africans were infuriated at seeing the two screenshots from the news reports side by side. One netizen said, “CEO’s never care, if the company goes into negatives, the CEO still earns”. Another added:
“Medical Aids especially Discovery are nothing but a money-making scheme because they’re not regulated as they’re mean to be by law to make sure they’re not charging clients exorbitant premiums purely for profit”.
Others defended Discovery. One user said, “every medical insurance does this when you don’t pay or if it’s beyond the plan you chose, it’s not only them”. The Twitter user added:
“Discovery is actually one of the best medical insurances to exist in South Africa according to people. But these people out to make money, they don’t care bout others”.
This is obscene. The ugly face of pure unadulterated capitalism
— (((マゲバ mageba))) (@mageba_sthembz) April 14, 2021
They take your money and spend it in new York
— war on bullshit (@sibiyas1) April 14, 2021