350,000 Medical Assitance Cases Handled by Allianz Partners in 2020
Richmond, VA, April 27, 2021 — As a provider of emergency medical assistance, Allianz Partners has had to rethink its entire medical operations to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 and continue to support customers in exceptional circumstances. These challenges have included the cancellation of commercial flights, an increase in regulations and travel restrictions, strained local health services, and the requirement for medical teams to quarantine.
Despite these extraordinary circumstances, Allianz Partners has defied the odds, with its team of over 1,000 highly qualified emergency doctors, nurses, and medical coordinators around the world who have worked around the clock to ensure that customers and patients are treated in the best conditions while providing timely physical and mental support, especially during stressful quarantine periods. Over the course of 2020, Allianz Partners managed over 350,000 medical assistance cases.
Safely repatriating patients and accompanying customers at every step
A global pandemic is especially unsettling when customers are far from home; this was the case for a group of French tourists on a Nile Cruise when several passengers tested positive for COVID-19. They were evacuated to a military hospital in Northern Egypt, while the other passengers were placed into quarantine on the boat. Allianz Partners worked closely with the French Consulate to support its customers and their families; medical doctors and nurses closely followed the positive patients and the quarantined passengers via daily phone check-ups, with a chat group to monitor their well-being and provide daily support. Patients were progressively released from the hospital after repeated COVID testing, transferred to Cairo, and booked on commercial flights back to France.
In another case, a 71-year-old man was admitted to the hospital with behavioral and neurological conditions whilst on holiday in Cameroon. Further medical attention was needed, and Allianz Partners stepped in to ensure he was returned to Europe for treatment. His critical state meant that he needed a constant supply of oxygen, had to remain laying down, and required medical escort. Liaising with supply and medical staff, Allianz Partners successfully repatriated the patient with an accompanying doctor and nurse, and found him a bed in a specialist hospital despite severe bed shortages and restricted flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Thanks to great effort from our medical staff, who moved seamlessly to full remote working mode in a matter of weeks at the start of the pandemic, we were able to prepare ourselves to face the new COVID-related constraints, and safely support and transport all types of patients during this unprecedented time. With the ongoing pandemic, our priority remains the safety of our customers and patients,” comments Anne Lepetit, Group Chief Medical Officer, Allianz Partners.
Adapting resources for medical transportation
As a COVID patient needs very specific and strict isolation, Allianz Partners’ policy has focused on identifying adapted treatment locally, until the patient is no longer contagious. Repatriating a COVID patient is considered only when local medical facilities cannot ensure an adequate level of care.
In the case of emergency transfer, air ambulance transport is the only adapted response for COVID patients and has become integral to maintaining travel assistance services. Overall, from March to August 2020, Allianz Partners’ use of air ambulance transports increased by 25% compared to the same period in 2019. Every year, Allianz Partners organizes over 17,000 medical repatriations globally, out of which more than two-thirds are performed by commercial airlines. In the COVID context, all urgent treatment for customers has been organized in the best local facilities, thanks to Allianz Partners’ network of over 900,000 global medical providers. Patients can return home as normal passengers after treatment. As a result, medical transport with a medical escort on commercial flights decreased substantially in 2020.
“There will be additional challenges and complexity to overcome while global travel starts recovering; medical operations will continue to evolve by including more virtual care in the travel journey to bring peace of mind to our customers. We can imagine that infectious diseases will continue to be a growing concern in the future, so traveling needs to be safe for travelers but also for receiving countries,” adds Anne Lepetit.
Even while having to adjust its operations, Allianz Partners continues to evolve, despite the odds, to ensure its customers remain safe. Although the aftermath of COVID-19 for travel is not yet clear, medical protection whilst traveling abroad will always be a priority for customers and for Allianz Partners.
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About Allianz Partners
Allianz Partners is a world leader in B2B2C insurance and assistance, offering global solutions that span international health and life, travel insurance, automotive and assistance. Customer-driven, our innovative experts are redefining insurance services by delivering future-ready, high-tech high-touch products and solutions that go beyond traditional insurance. Our products are embedded seamlessly into our partners’ businesses or sold directly to customers and are available through four commercial brands: Allianz Assistance, Allianz Automotive, Allianz Travel, and Allianz Care. Present in 76 countries, our 21,500 employees speak 70 languages, handle over 65 million cases each year, and are motivated to go the extra mile to help and protect our customers around the world.
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