HONG KONG, April 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- AXA is further boosting its telehealth and online services as part of the battle to support people as they deal with social distancing, lock-downs and isolation during the spread of COVID-19. To foster better health outcomes, the insurer offers free teleconsultations to approximately 6.5 million people in Asia, including under-served patients in remote, rural areas, with limited healthcare access. AXA plans to extend these services further, including in South East Asia, in solidarity with society.
Essential services like telehealth have become more important during these difficult times, spanning both physical and mental health. Through a strategic alliance with Tencent Trusted Doctors, the largest online medical service provider in China, AXA provides 24/7 access to teleconsultations through a dedicated hotline for AXA customers and employees seeking advice and support. The online platform is supported by 450,000 professional medical doctors and psychologists. A dedicated Mental Wellness Helpline via chat and video on WeChat will also go live in May, providing additional support as society begins to recover from the effects of the pandemic.
Halodoc, AXA's Indonesian telehealth partner, has seen usage skyrocket over the past month. With a lack of medical staff and protective equipment, and less than 4,000 hospital beds for seriously ill COVID-19 patients, Indonesia's 270 million people need telehealth more than ever. The government's virus task force said on 27 March it would add links on its website to 20 telehealth services and create a digital call centre to direct traffic. Halodoc, which has 12 million monthly users, also offers medicine delivery through partnerships with pharmacies, laboratories and ride-hailers. AXA has made a free teleconsultation program available to more than 2.6M existing customers, as well as new customers, for a limited time period in Indonesia. AXA is likewise introducing free mental wellness counselling with psychologists to ensure holistic support is available.
AXA Philippines has extended free medical teleconsultation services to all life insurance customers, as well as select general insurance clients, reaching 750,000 customers with its partner MyPocketDoctor. In Japan, 24/7 health and medical consultation call services "T-PEC" and online services "DoctorsMe" are currently available free of charge to all policyholders, insured persons and their family members. These services provide consultations by healthcare specialists including physicians and nurses about COVID-19. In Thailand, Krungthai-AXA Life offers telemedicine to policyholders currently using services through its partners BDMS network hospitals and Praram 9 Hospital.
While all around Asia and the world people are doing their best to maintain both physical health, mental strength is also vital now for total well-being.
"Without a vaccine, physical distancing and aggressive testing have been the only tried-and-true methods to slow viral spread. At the same time, this creates more anxiety and a fear of being shunned. We are seeing a rise in mental health issues," said Kathleen M. Pike, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Capacity Building and Training in Global Mental Health at Columbia University.
"During these anxious times, we want to support everyone's mental well-being as well as prevent infection. Our response focuses on ensuring continuity of service amid the disruption, by leveraging telemedicine and digital channels to support customers and patients. Telehealth has proven its essential value, as clinics and hospitals become overwhelmed, and supports social distancing to prevent further infection. A key advantage of telehealth is also its ability to provide care to patients in vulnerable, rural areas, which lack sufficient healthcare access," said Gordon Watson, CEO of AXA Asia.
AXA was the first insurer to roll out a free benefits dedicated to frontline health workers in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Indonesia. The company is equally concerned about its employees, putting health checks in place for all staff, upgrading the team's own insurance coverage, securing personal protective equipment, providing work from home services, as well as office rotation for essential visits.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, AXA has been a partner for its customers and for society. The AXA Research Fund, which supports research on infectious diseases, will be donating 5 million Euro to develop responses to COVID-19, including the Pasteur Institute COVID-19 Task Force and the Open COVID-19 initiative by Just One Open Giant Lab (JOGL). Open COVID-19 is an open source research platform bringing together engineers, practitioners and researchers to provide low-cost emergency solutions to respond to the pandemic, with a particular focus on low income countries.
AXA worldwide is donating to the 101 Fund, which is providing financial support to 1,200 intensive care units in 60 countries, including 100 intensive care units in Asia. In response to employees' requests to take part, the company has begun a voluntary programme, "AXA Hearts in Action", where colleagues can post a message of support for Fund 101 on their social media and, in return, AXA will donate EUR5 for every post. Employees can also make personal donations.
ABOUT AXA ASIA
AXA Asia is part of AXA, a leading global insurer offering a range of innovative solutions covering health, life and general insurance. We serve customers across seven fast-growing markets including Hong Kong, mainland China, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. We are also the largest foreign owned P&C insurance company in mainland China. Drawing on our global expertise coupled with our strong regional foundation, we are committed to acting as partner to our customers in Asia, ensuring they have access to the protection they need to empower them in their daily lives.
AXA is proud to be the Official Principal Partner of Liverpool Football Club, supporting the shared goal of promoting healthy well-being and lifestyles, as well as making contributions to the local communities in which we operate.