As COVID-19 safe management measures (SMMs) lift, many of you would have likely felt the squeeze as crowds started to appear. With more people out and about, this will likely translate into longer waiting times everywhere, including hospitals.
Health problems are usually time-sensitive and require treatment as soon as possible. However, not everyone has the luxury of time to wait their turn at hospitals. Hence, to meet their healthcare needs, many have turned to an alternate solution: e-medical concierges.
What is a Medical Concierge Service?
Did you know that like hotels, the healthcare industry also has its own concierge services?
In hospitals, patient or clinical concierges help patients navigate the complex world of clinical trials, medical services, and medical insurance. Their primary purpose is to make the patient’s stay in the hospital as comfortable as possible.
Outside of hospitals, medical concierges also exist online and usually act as intermediaries between patients and private healthcare providers. The end result is usually faster, more convenient and personalised treatment.
Types of Online Medical Concierges
Online medical concierges can be differentiated into subtypes such as:
- Travel Medical Assistance
- The concierge links you up with a wide database of foreign doctors, hospitals and private clinics.
- Travel arrangements such as transport and location of stay will be made for you by the concierge.
- Private Health Advisories
- A team of healthcare advisors work closely with GPs and specialists to provide personalised second opinions for patients.
- Such concierges also help link patients up with the right doctor quickly and efficiently.
- Some concierges even provide individualised physical examinations and help with complex disease management.
- Most Private Health Advisories also handle all administrative procedures, including appointment booking and insurance claims for you
- Private Physician Practice
- Usually, an annual fee is paid to a doctor who will be at your service 24/7 to provide personalised care and answer all medical questions you have
- Most concierge doctors will also help you handle all administrative matters, such as insurance claims and applications for government subsidies (e.g. MediShield)
Most medical concierges often have services that overlap between the three types stated above so as to capture a broader pool of customers. Some have even further differentiated to provide services such as managing employee medical benefits for companies.
What is the difference between Concierge Nursing and Medical Concierges?
When you engage the services of Concierge Nurses, you find that concierge nurses are:
- Licensed, professional nurses
- Independent of any hospitals, private clinics and home care agencies
- Provide nursing services on a subscription basis
- Provide fee-for-service plans where payment is given based on the service provided
- Go to the patients instead of the patient coming to them
This means patients directly contact the individual nurse to request specific healthcare services and can receive physical aid at whichever location they are at.
Those patients on a subscription plan will also have to pay a regular fee for the nurse’s healthcare services. This regular fee will have to be paid even if there were no visits during the subscription period (e.g. 0 visits a month incurs the same cost as 30 visits a month).
An e-medical concierge usually does not send healthcare professionals to go to a patient physically but recommends doctors for a patient to visit.
Payment modes also differ between Medical Concierges and Concierge Nursing. Medical Concierges are more varied in payment plans, whereby patients enjoy the services for free or pay based on the services used. Concierge Nurses usually only have two modes of payment — subscription-based payments and pay-by-service plans.
How do Medical Concierge Services work in Singapore?
To engage the services of an e-Medical Concierge in Singapore, simply contact the concierge, and tell them about your concerns. From there, the healthcare advisor on the call will refer you to a specialist who can tackle your problems.
Depending on which Medical Concierge you call, they may even help you book an appointment with said specialist or arrange a hospital admission if you urgently require medical care.
If you are an overseas patient, some clinics will be able to help with your travel arrangements all to facilitate your healthcare experience.
Are there any e-Medical Concierges in Singapore?
Some examples of e-Medical Concierges in Singapore include:
- Beyond Medical Assistance
- The Medical Concierge Group
- Ace Medical Concierge
- Priority Capital Holding Pte Ltd
- Infinity Singapore Medical
What can a Medical Concierge Service do for me?
In general, medical concierge services in Singapore are targeted at both local and foreign patients. The list of services they provide is wide and varied, but a few common services are as follows.
Medical Concierge Services for both local and foreign patients:
- Individual Needs Assessment
- Referrals and Appointments to specialists
- Transport arrangements in Singapore
- Answer enquiries on Pre-operative preparation and Post-operative recovery
- Letters of Guarantee for Medical Treatment
- Assistance with insurance and other Medical claims
- Collection and Delivery of Test Results
- Collection and Delivery of Medication
Additional Medical Concierge Services for foreign patients:
- Transport and living arrangements for medical travel to Singapore
- Worldwide Medical Evacuation
- Assistance with visa application for medical visits
Do note that this list does not capture all services provided by the various Medical Concierges, but serves only as a general guide.
What is the cost of a Medical Concierge Service?
The cost generally depends on the services and concierge you choose.
Services such as booking appointments, answering enquiries and referrals to specialists are free of charge for most medical concierges.
However, if your choose to engage the services of a concierge doctor, you will need to pay regular membership fees. Otherwise, consultation fees for specialists are usually determined by the clinic you choose to go to after obtaining free referrals from the Medical Concierge.
How do I know which Medical Concierge Service is right for me?
Apart from looking at the services offered by the Medical Concierge, you should also choose a concierge that you can trust to:
- Patiently listen to all your needs and concerns
- Provide unbiased advice and referrals
- Have vast access to different doctors and healthcare providers
One good example is Beyond Medical Assistance, which provides unbiased referrals to all doctors, public or private. These referrals will also be guided by specialists who have at least 15 years of clinical experience and a healthcare management team, with a combined experience of over 40 years in the industry. That way, you can rest assured, knowing that the medical aid you receive is what you truly need.
Other than that, you are free to choose any concierge services that you feel most comfortable with.
How do I contact a Medical Concierge Service?
Contacting an e-Medical Concierge Service is usually hassle-free and done via a text message or phone call.
The first step is to Google for a Medical Concierge that looks like it would suit you. Then just look for the “Contact Us” button on their respective websites or contact information like:
- Phone Numbers
- Email Address
- Enquiry forms
For Beyond Medical Assistance, please call us or WhatsApp us for any enquiry.
Medical concierges are free and easily accessible to the public. If you want to skip the queue at hospitals to get a doctor’s appointment, need a specialist referral, or simply want your medical enquiries answered by healthcare professionals, this is definitely a suitable option for you.