How the first heart transplant led to critical illness cover

Fifty one years ago – in the early hours of Sunday, December 3rd 1967 – the world’s first human heart transplant was carried out in Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa by a pioneering medical team led by Professor Christiaan Barnard.

The team, which included Professor Barnard’s younger brother Dr Marius Barnard, successfully removed the heart of 17-year-old road traffic victim Denise Durvall, and transplanted it into Louis Washkansky, a 55-year-old former businessman who’d had total cardiac failure.

Dr Marius Barnard went on to travel the world, training other surgeons and developing techniques to improve pediatric cardiovascular surgical procedures. But perhaps his greatest achievement outside of the operation was to help patients worldwide be better able to cope with the financial impact of illness.

As someone with a restless curiosity, he was interested in medical developments in fields other than his own, and it was this – together with his own medical experience – that enabled him to realise that advances in medical and pharmaceutical care would transform survival rates.

Whilst this would result in additional quantity of life, the same couldn’t be said for its quality, as the patients’ post-treatment ability to work and earn in many cases was impaired.

It was this concern for the financial vulnerability and health of his patients that motivated Dr Barnard to work with the insurance industry to develop a new form of insurance cover. One that admitted a claim on the diagnosis of life-changing and/or limiting health conditions; not solely on death from them. Arguing that, as a medical doctor, he could repair a man physically, but only insurers can repair a patient's finances.

This led to the launch of the world’s first critical illness insurance product on 6th August 1983, and he then took on a new role working around the world as a protection and health insurance product design consultant

Source: Scottish Widows

Making a charity contribution to reduce your tax bill

Governments around the world will let their citizens reduce a potential tax bill if they make contributions to charitable causes. The charity generally must be registered with the relevant authority to allow the taxpayer to benefit from any deduction.

The type of tax and how it is calculated will also be relevant, some contributions will reduce an income tax bill by reducing the income that is accessible whilst others will reduce the tax percentage that is applied.

Below are some examples for the different types

Singapore

If you make a contribution to a registered charity in Singapore, your donation is tax deductible against your income tax assessment. Furthermore, your donation will be deductible at 2.5 times the original amount. For example, a $300 donation will mean $750 being deducted from assessable income.

Cash donations must be made to an approved Institution of a Public Character (IPC) or the Singapore Government for causes that benefit the local community. Not all registered charities are approved IPCs. Therefore, donations made to a charity without approved IPC status are not tax-deductible. To check if the charity you want to donate to is registered - https://www.charities.gov.sg/Pages/Home.aspx

The amount is automatically deducted from income assessment at the time of your income tax submission in April each year

UK

Leaving a part or your entire estate to charity can reduce, and in some situations, eliminate the Inheritance Tax liability. If you leave something to charity in your will, then it won’t count towards the total taxable value of your estate.

This is called leaving a ‘charitable legacy’. You can also cut the Inheritance Tax rate on the rest of your estate from 40% to 36%, if you leave at least 10% of your ‘net estate’ to a charity.

Australia

When completing your tax return, you're entitled to claim deductions for gifts. Organisations that are entitled to receive tax deductible gifts are called 'deductible gift recipients' (DGRs). You can only claim a tax deduction for gifts or donations to organisations that have a DGR.

A tax deduction for most gifts is claimed in the tax return for the income year in which the gift is made. However, you can elect to spread the tax deduction over five income years in certain circumstances.

Check if you can make a charity deduction for your country and reduce a potential tax bill whilst helping your designated charity

Markets....

While there may be profits to be had in the short term by trading and playing the volatility game, we feel that now is the time to ensure that a certain percentage of your wealth is invested in well diversified, multi-asset, multi-jurisdictional portfolio of assets with a medium to long-term investment philosophy, and where capital preservation and steady capital growth is one of the key drivers.

The percentage allocated to this strategy depends on the risk profile, investment objectives and most importantly, the investor’s age.