Inching closer to integrated healthcare in Southeast Asia
WHEN you fall ill or meet with an accident, you expect medical services to be readily available.
However, patients that rely on insurance coverage face many complexities and long wait times. Approval processes to get access to services or medication, or claims processes for hefty payments, can be frustrating.
Insurance companies are finally realizing the need to integrate these processes more seamlessly with medical service providers. Healthcare marketplace Doctor2U has made progress in getting Takaful Malaysia, an insurance provider, to join its platform. This makes for a more seamless process, and takes Malaysia (and Southeast Asia) closer to integrated healthcare.
Under the Digitally-Assisted Medication Delivery programme, users insured by Takaful Malaysia’s Employee Benefits programme can obtain medications through the app, without needing to wait at clinics or hospitals. Takaful Malaysia will bear the medication and delivery charges, as long as it adheres to limits stated in the policy.
“This program not only provides convenient, safe and secure mode of communication between our customers and the third parties, but also improve the efficiency of medical insurance claims and audit work,” said Dato’ Seri Mohamed Hassan Kamil, Group Chief Executive Officer of Takaful Malaysia.
Launched in 2016 by Ali Health, Doctor2U is a mobile marketplace, offering healthcare services through an application. Users can interact with doctors through the app, as well as schedule home visits. The app also features a marketplace for users to purchase and have medication delivered.
Previously, Doctor2U’s services were not easily accessible for patients under an insurance program. Although, Ali Health states that they have partnerships with several insurers, including Prudential, AIA, Zurich, and Great Eastern. However, customers using the services still had to pay first and negotiate claims with individual insurers.
In China, a similar platform Ping An Haoyisheng (Ping An Good Doctor), by insurance company Ping An, offers similar services. The platform allows patients to interact with their doctors using text, photo, voice, and video calls.
Where Ping An is leading, is exploring solutions for users to access their insurance policy and request for claims through the app. Instead of long wait times, Ping An aims to connect the insurer with hospitals to ensure a seamless process. That process is still not available yet, however.
Currently, Doctor2U stated on its website that it is “working closely with many major insurance providers to strike up collaborations”. It has since partnered with Zurich to provide services at “discounted rates” to their customers.
Having said that, it’s still a long way away from insurance and healthcare to be a truly integrated, stress-free process for patients.
Doctor2U is currently available in Philippines, China, Singapore, and Indonesia, with plans ongoing for Australia.