AXA - Global Healthcare introduces virtual doctor service

Partnership with Advanced Medical brings internatonally-qualified doctors to patients wherever and whenever they are needed

AXA – Global Healthcare has announced that from 1 November all new and existing individual and SME customers with outpatient cover will have access to its virtual doctor service, Global Care on Demand.

The new service offers members of AXA’s global health insurance plans convenient access to experienced, internationally-qualified, multi-lingual doctors over the phone 24 hours a day or via a video consultation.

It is provided by Advance Medical and has been piloted over several months with AXA’s clients.

The new virtual doctor service provides customers with easy access to primary care and an international standard of trusted clinical advice, whenever and wherever they need it.

Advance Medical’s doctors are located in eight main hubs around the world and speak more than 20 languages, giving customers the peace of mind that comes with speaking with a doctor in their own time zone and language and one who is familiar with their local healthcare system.

This can be especially useful for corporate employees who are new to their assignment destination, or individuals who are travelling and may not know where or how to access medical care.

Patients can schedule a video consultation at a convenient time or ask for one of Advance Medical’s doctors to call them directly.

Remote consultations are increasingly being embedded in domestic healthcare systems, with a report by the Healthcare Performance Institute in 2013 showing that 70% of doctor’s surgery visits could have been handled remotely.

Tom Wilkinson, chief executive of AXA – Global Healthcare, said: “Given the global nature of our customers, who live in more than 190 countries, it was vital we found a provider which could meet their diverse needs, while also offering a great experience. That’s why our new service includes doctors who are based regionally, and critically, offers a range of languages.

“Although many expats learn the local language, or can get by with the basics; when it comes to medical terminology it can often be reassuring to be able to speak in your mother tongue.

“During our pilot, customers who were travelling for work also appreciated the reassurance of being able to continue treatment that had begun in another country – for example by receiving advice about medications and vaccinations for newborn babies.”

Following the rollout, members will be able to sign up for and access the service through an online web portal or through the Global Care for Expats app, which is available on both iOS and Android.

Wilkinson said: “For some, new healthcare systems may be hard to navigate or trust, and this can put them off seeking the help they need, or perhaps, worse, drive them to search the internet to self diagnose.

“This offering can help provide much-needed guidance at any time of day or night, to help our customers feel more confident speaking about their health.

“They won’t need to take time out of their day to travel, sit in waiting rooms, or navigate new healthcare systems to get the initial support and advice they need.”

Carlos Nueno, chief executive of Advance Medical, added: “This partnership signifies another step in making healthcare accessible to a global audience.

“We understand the challenges that mobile populations face in terms of accessing a consistent level of support, guidance and advice about their healthcare. Patient satisfaction is at the core of what we do and we look forward to continuing this successful partnership.”

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