Telemedicine for expats
In some countries, the delays to obtain an appointment with a general practitioner are sometimes long and cultural differences can also be a hindrance. Access to care for expatriates is even more difficult due to insufficient medical structures or high costs. Telemedicine for expatriates can prove to be a means of facilitating access to care. Especially in countries where communication with doctors can be difficult.
What is telemedicine?
There telemedicine is a practice of online medicine based on new means of communication. This allows a patient to contact the doctor of his choice remotely and anywhere in the world. It is often done by Whatsapp, Skype, Teams, Google meeting…
- Remote consultation between a patient and a medical professional;
- Exchange between medical professionals concerning a patient;
- Analysis and interpretation of a patient’s symptoms;
- Assistance of a doctor to a colleague in treating a patient
Please note: telemedicine is not an emergency service! It is best to contact the local rescue services in case of an emergency.
What are the Telemedicine services available for expatriates?
Access to a secure platform and to general practitioners or specialists. You can contact them to ask them your questions by email, phone or video call. Attention, despite generally short deadlines, it is possible not to have an appointment within the hour.
Second medical opinion
It is often appreciable to have a second medical opinion, especially in the case of surgery. Medical techniques are very different from one country to another. And in some cases a surgery prescribed in one country can turn out to be avoidable in France.
The doctor can give you a prescription for medication or for additional examinations.
It is also possible to ask for information about where you live. Like the necessary vaccines or the most reputable hospitals for your pathology.
Which doctors are accessible?
- sports doctor
- travel doctor
The benefits of telemedicine for expats
The main advantage of telemedicine for expatriates is the speed of service. The platforms are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Responses are quick and this can save you time and also money.
Second advantage, the possibility of communicating with a doctor in your language. It is therefore easier to describe your symptoms and understand the diagnosis made in order to follow the prescribed treatment.
Telemedicine also makes up for the lack of medical infrastructure in some countries or the difficulty of accessing specialists.
Finally, consultations via these services are generally covered by your insurer. This saves you from having to advance medical expenses that are sometimes very expensive.
Telemedicine and expatriate health insurance
In recent years, insurers have integrated plans reimbursing teleconsultation when it is external, but also integrate services internally. Mainly thanks to dedicated applications.
Telemedicine offers a real alternative. On the other hand, it is necessary to remember that it is an additional tool that does not replace a real consultation.
How do I find insurance that includes telemedicine?
The easiest way is to compare all the offers one by one, but not an insurance professional who wants to. The waste of time is considerable.
To help you, calling on a broker is often the most advantageous solution. Indeed, he will be able to provide you with sound advice to direct you to the right insurance.
Our team of experts can help you in this process, and help you find the perfect insurance for your needs. In addition, our perfect knowledge of Shanghai, thanks to our representative office and our back office on site, allows us to stay as informed as possible and to be as close as possible to help you. Contact us!
You can also consult our article which lists the qualities of good insurance here
Enjoy your expatriation well