Dr Marius Stephan Barnard was the brother of Dr Chris Barnard. Like his brother, he practised as a Cardiac Surgeon. He graduated with his MBchM and began his career in medicine in Zimbabwe. He paved his way into medical history in 1967 as part of the team that performed the first heart transplant. Specifically, he was one of the surgeons who removed the donor heart from Denise Darvall.
During his career as a doctor, Barnard saw the hardships of his patient who suffered from critical illness. He realised that there was no financial protection for critical patients, which caused severe financial burdens. He argued that as a surgeon, he could mend a patient’s illness, but only an insurer could mend a patient’s finances. Thus, he helped develop an insurance policy that protects patients against the financial impacts of critical illness. Critical Illness insurance cover many diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Aortic surgery, and Heart Attacks.
Throughout his career in the insurance field, Dr Barnard received various awards and acclimation. He was named as one of the 25th most influential people in Insurance and Protection. He devoted 25 years in he insurance industry to educate and teach insurers worldwide about Critical Health Insurance. Dr Barnard also spent a few years employed as a technical consultant at one of the United Kingdoms most trusted insurer, Scottish Widows.
In 1980 Dr Marius Barnard became a member of the South African Parliament, as representative of the Progressive Federal party. He ended his career in politics in 1989.