29 FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2012
Vol 4. No. 1755
A global health care brand’s offerings The British United Provident Association (BUPA) offers first-class insurance health care services to over eight million people in 190 countries. It is represented in Nigeria by Anthony Somefun Limited (ASL). WALE ALABI reports on its activities. The beginning
HE British United Provident Association (BUPA) started in the United Kingdom (UK) in 1947 with just 38,000 members. Since then, it has developed into an internationally respected brand. In 1971, BUPA extended its health insurance cover to expatriates around the world. It has expanded its network to reach 190 countries and grown its membership to over eight million members of about 115 nationalities with over 7,500 participating hospitals and clinics worldwide. With offices in the UK, Hong Kong, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, India, Australia, USA, Denmark, Egypt, France and Spain, and an international network of brokers and business partners, the group is a non-profit making shareholding company and has credible financial standing with excess of 3.95 billion pounds in reserves. Unarguably the largest expatriate private health insurance provider, it also offers cover for local nationals where the local regulations permit. It recognises the high standard its members expect, and is familiar with treatments and health facilities available around the world. It also knows the importance of offering advice and support through every stage of a patient’s care and recovery. The benefits of membership By sharing its extensive knowledge and experience with its client, BUPA helps to protect their health and wellbeing no matter the circumstances. BUPA “cares for the lives in its hands” and is dedicated to providing all the insurance services, help and advice needed to keep members, their family and employees in the best of health. Its dedicated team respects its clients’ individuality, culture, privacy and dignity and aims to provide services that can be relied upon throughout a BUPA international membership. As a member of BUPA International, clients will be covered for a wide range of benefits including choice of provider, around-the-clock multilingual help and support from BUPA Customer Services department and access to a second medical opinion from a world expert in their field. With a network of over 7,500 participating hospitals worldwide, it can guarantee direct settlement of eligible in-patient claims. On quality, it runs an international hospital accreditation programme to ensure that they are working with medical providers whothey know give the best outcomes. Claims
are settled within five working days and can be paid in more than 80 different currencies. And with growing awareness of Internet, members can enjoy the ease of being able to manage their individual or families’ health plan through a website. Communication edge BUPA has over 1,000 employees from many countries and cultures. Professionally trained and continually coached, they aim to treat clients with respect, compassion and understanding every time contacted. It has various language specialists, who can speak to clients in their languages; its helpline speaks 34 languages and have a wealth of local knowledge and expertise. With a team of medical doctors available 24 hours to call upon if required, its aim is to treat and care for clients as individuals enabling them to receive the most appropriate treatment every time. If a member’s circumstances require additional medical assistance; for example, the member lives in a remote part of the world or somewhere with limited medical facilities, either one of the following two options can be used for assistance cover: evacuation and repatriation Evacuation Where there are concerns about the quality of local medical care, this option is ideal. If the treatment needed is not available locally, it will arrange for the member to be evacuated to the nearest centre of medical excellence no matter the location of the patient. Repatriation This is where a client wishes to be return to his or her home country. Roll of honours Since inception, it has won many awards for its services.
‘BUPA cares for the lives in its hands’ and is dedicated to providing all the insurance services, help and advice needed to keep members, their family and employees in the best of health. Its dedicated team respects its client’s individuality, culture, privacy and dignity and aims to provide services that can be relied upon throughout an international membership’
•Toyosi Akerele, founder, Rise Networks (third right) and participants at the Define my Tomorrow Career counselling in Port Harcourt.
• Health Minister, Prof. Chukwu Onyebuchi
BUPA international won the Queens Award for enterprise in the International Trade category for the third time in 2010 for its continued substantial growth in overseas earnings, commercial success and outstanding achievement. It also won in 2005 and 1999. In 2009, it received the best international Private Medical Insurance provider Award at the UK’s health insurance Awards for the fourth time and for the ninth time since 1999. BUPA was also recognised for its FT business offshore Excellence Award in 2000. The Nigerian affiliate In Nigeria, it is represented by Anthony Somefun Limited (ASL). ASL, which is also registered in the UK, has been operating as BUPA country representative in Nigeria since 2008. The Head, Business Development, ASL, Mr Emmanuel Akpose, states the mission of the brand: “At ASL, we pride ourselves to being available for whatever assistance any of our clients require and endeavour to treat each client with utmost importance. Recognising that each client is an individual with different needs, requirements and circumstances, we at ASL tailor our services to perfectly fit with each client’s needs. “We thrive on ensuring that all our clients endeavour to go for a wellness screening or medical check-up at least once a year, as early detection of certain illnesses can significantly increase the recovery rate of a patient.” According to him, “If, for any reason, a client would prefer for ASL to contact BUPA International on their behalf regarding any medical related issue, we will be more than willing to assist clients. Also, at ASL, we have a dedicated team, who have been trained on BUPA International products and services and who are ready to offer any client who requires further clarification regarding BUPA’s policy summaries and membership guides.” “Finally, ASL tries to make sure all clients and expatriates attempt to cover their families and employees as well as themselves under BUPA international’s Private Health Care service, especially in developing countries where people cannot rely on the health system due to unavailability of adequate medical experts and facilities.” On how claims are settled, Viavor Bababunmi, an executive of the firm, said: “BUPA International settles claims directly with hospitals and health care providers in BUPA’s network, usually in local currency. This means less administration and inconvenience for their members. A personalised membership card is also issued to members who have all the emergency contacts numbers necessary, providing peace of mind.” Since it started operations in Nigeria, ASL has made appreciable impact on the business of caring for lives through product delivery, advising and customer care. Its high networth clientele spans banks, schools, churches, oil and gas and individuals.
The Nation June 15, 2012