Comments /2306 Views / Wednesday, 21 March 2012 00:41
Asian Alliance Insurance PLC (AAI) in a synergistic tie up with the Asiri Group of Hospitals has successfully introduced a medical insurance scheme offering health care facilities at an affordable premium to cover the basic expenses.
This medical insurance scheme titled ‘Asiri Alliance Medical’ has already gained popularity. Launched in collaboration with the Asiri Group of Hospitals, Dr. Manjula Karunaratne, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Medical Services of the Asiri Hospital, expressed the belief that the competitive advantage of the group hospitals, Asiri and The Central will be further boosted by offering such healthcare policies through Asian Alliance Insurance.
“Considering the fact that Asiri and The Central hospitals possess a large client base, providing attractive healthcare plans would significantly contribute towards alleviating the increasing burden on healthcare costs, as well as to improve standards of preventive healthcare”, he said. The annual premium for an individual is Rs. 7,500 and Rs. 12,500 for a family unit; meets the basic needs of hospitalisation benefits to a larger cross section of the public who could not usually avail themselves to such an insurance scheme as individuals.
Dr. Karunaratne noted that medical insurance has a vast potential especially in a country like Sri Lanka with a high aging population second to Japan. The life expectancy for Sri Lankan females and males has increased up to 80 and 76 years respectively, according to latest Health Ministry statistics. Therefore, it is important to address the emerging health care needs through affordable medical insurance schemes, he added.
“The other advantage of this medical insurance scheme is that the policyholders will enjoy health care facilities at Asiri Group of Hospitals comprising Asiri Hospital Narahenpita, Asiri Surgical Hospital, The Central Hospital and two other hospitals in Matara equipped with advanced medical technology and skilled professionals,” Dr. Karunaratne said. He revealed that another new hospital is to be opened in Kandy in recent future.
Referring to the modern health care facilities available at the Asiri Hospital Group he said that the latest addition to the range of modern medical equipments is the PET CT scanner which will transform the clinical landscape in the country.
Dr. Karunaratne further added that with the installation of the PET CT scanner, Sri Lankans will not have to go overseas to avail themselves of this procedure at very high cost. The PET CT Scanner, which was described as the first ever machine of its kind in Sri Lanka was launched and installed on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Asiri Hospital and is found to be ‘fully operational’.
PET CT or Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography is a molecular imaging technique which combines the strength of a PET scan and a CT scan. This allows doctors to inspect how the organs in the body are functioning enabling them to make an early diagnosis. The PET scanner finds increased activity in cells in the body and the CT provides information about the structure of the body which helps the doctor to plan appropriate treatment if needed.
Asian Alliance Insurance Plc Director/Chief Executive Officer Ramal G. Jasinghe stated that the merging of synergies between Softlogic Holdings and Asian Alliance Insurance has helped to improve the healthcare insurance segment significantly. He added that the company’s new insurance products under the ‘Asiri Alliance brand’ have become very popular at present.
“Offering healthcare policies under ‘Asiri Alliance brand’ has a definite advantage,” he said, adding that no other insurance company in Sri Lanka has the backing of such a network of modern hospitals. “This is probably the only instance of a Group of Companies, owning both a hospital group as well as a listed insurance company. This will naturally result in great opportunities to provide and innovate useful health care insurance products to the public at large. We see a definite growth and opportunity in this sector,” he said.
Asian Alliance Insurance (AAI) has performed remarkably well operationally in both the life and the non-life segments. The Company which is a composite insurer, has a strong value proposition in Life as well as the Non Life business and will aim to increase market share in a promising environment where strong insurance growth is correlated to growth in the national economy, he added.
Jasinghe, who is also the President of the Insurance Association of Sri Lanka (IASL), stated that insurance companies have a duty to enhance the medical offerings in order to ease the burden on the State healthcare system and therefore, create access to the underprivileged citizens in the community at large who deserve the service of free healthcare.
Asian Alliance Insurance PLC was acquired by the Softlogic Holdings recently which has further strengthened the stability of the company.
Softlogic is one of the leading, dynamic organisations in Sri Lanka today, having expanded and diversified into the growth sectors of Retail, Healthcare, ICT, Automobiles, Travel & Leisure and Finance, holding Authorised distributorships for some Key Global Brand names.
Softlogic today employs over 5000 people within its offices located in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Australia.
Jasinghe added that this will be the initial step of strengthening the product portfolio of AAI merging synergies with the Softlogic Group. Both Asiri Hospitals and Asian Alliance Insurance is in the process of developing comprehensive medical insurance packages to the benefit of the community which are expected to revolutionise the medical insurance industry in Sri Lanka.
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