Battling with Bali Belly after your holiday?

Picture this: a dream family getaway in Bali. Relaxation, laughter, and yummy street food. Then, suddenly, #Balibelly hits, and your loved one isn’t feeling well. This can be a scary situation, especially when their symptoms are severe and persist long after the trip.

One family recently faced this worry when their niece, Natalie, had a bad bout of food poisoning in Bali and was ill even after returning to Singapore.

Natalie’s family took her to a General Practitioner (GP), but four days post-visit and she was still unwell. Her family knew it was time to seek emergency care, but in the midst of looking out for Natalie and thinking of all the next steps, they were overwhelmed. 

"We were in a state of panic," Ms. Carole Lin, Natalie's aunt, recalled.

"My niece was unable to get out of bed and she was so dazed that she couldn't communicate clearly how she felt. Yet it didn't seem bad enough to call for an ambulance."

Easing Worries During A Difficult Time

Patient Journey (Integrated Shield Plan)

Thankfully, Natalie’s family knew she was covered by private hospital insurance coverage — a private Integrated Shield Plan. This meant that her out-of-pocket expenses would be capped at a manageable amount, and Natalie and her family could place their focus on getting her speedy and comprehensive treatment, instead of worrying about the costs.

They decided on seeking emergency care at one of IHH Healthcare’s hospitals (Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, Gleneagles Hospital and Parkway East Hospital) and immediately got in touch with Parkway Insurance Concierge via WhatsApp for help.

Parkway Insurance Concierge
What is Parkway Insurance Concierge (PIC)? 

Think of PIC as your guide to navigating your health insurance plan. Their services include helping you find a hospital within their network of hospitals with the shortest wait time during times of need, among others. They are contactable via WhatsApp @ 98340999.

The PIC team did everything they could to make seeking emergency care a smooth experience for Natalie and her family. Within two hours, they arranged the following for Natalie and her family:

  • Checking the IHH Healthcare network of hospitals for the hospital with the shortest waiting time at their Urgent Care Centre (in this case, this was Mount Elizabeth Orchard Hospital)
 
  • Ensuring there was an available bed for her at said hospital
 
  • Ensuring that she would be seen by a panel doctor to minimise her out-of-pocket expenses

Carole Lin explained why it was important to find a hospital with the shortest waiting time, “No one likes waiting in times of crisis! Sometimes it could be a life and death situation and we won’t know until something happens.”

A Speedy and Complete Recovery

At Mount Elizabeth Orchard Hospital, Natalie received the medical attention she needed and was fully discharged in three days. She even managed to return to her exams — a testament to her strength and the speed with which she received medical attention. 

Carole Lin Niece Integrated Shield Plan
Carole Lin with her niece, Natalie, and sister at Mount Elizabeth Orchard Hospital. Photo: @carolelinxiaopei

The Importance of Integrated Shield Plans

Natalie’s experience reminds us about the importance of having a private IP. If you’re still on the fence about getting it for yourself or your loved ones, here’s our take on why it can be so valuable during times of need:

 

  • Access to Speedy and Comprehensive Care: Treatment at private hospitals typically involve shorter wait times — from waiting at the A&E, to getting your scans done and even to secure a follow up appointment with a doctor. You can also gain access to specialists from different departments quickly, which would ensure that your treatment is handled comprehensively.
 
  • Reducing hospitalisation bill ‘shocks’: Having an IP reduces your out-of-pocket medical expenses, and seeing a panel doctor during your hospitalisation ensures this amount is kept minimal. It also allows you to claim your pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses*. For Natalie, her IP plan covered her GP consultation before she was hospitalised.
 
  • Recover in Comfort: Treatment at a private hospital offers a conducive environment for your recovery and lets you rest in comfort. IPs also offer flexibility in choosing from over 500 panel doctors, allowing you to prioritise yours or your loved one’s comfort and well-being.
 
*Please confirm with your insurance agent/financial adviser how many days of pre- and post-hospitalisation coverage you are entitled to.
Photo Credit: @carolelinxiaopei

Ms Lin offered a valuable lesson: “While I know we have a private hospital plan, I wasn't sure about the details.

For example, I wasn't aware of any panel doctors we might need to see my niece. I just trusted the hospital to choose the best course of action, but in hindsight, it might have been helpful to check with our insurance agent beforehand.”

Sometimes, it takes a health scare for us to see the value of having an IP coverage. But being caught in a health emergency without adequate health insurance can be detrimental to your financial health. 

So, plan wisely! Whether it’s for you or your family, being health insurance savvy is crucial to ensure everyone has speedy access to quality care when they need it most. 

Start your journey to learn more about health insurance in Singapore today.

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