Bupa’s 24/7 virtual doctor service, provided through Blua, is helping take pressure off Australia’s healthcare system with hundreds of members accessing the service daily, rather than attend overstretched general practices or hospital emergency departments.
International students and visitors with Bupa health insurance have access to the free telehealth service, depending on their cover. More than 60 per cent of eligible members had their concerns resolved in one video call, and less than two per cent of Blua users were required to go to hospital after virtual medical consultations.
Blua’s Clinical Director Dr Simon Benson said the digital health service had increased accessibility and affordability of medical care with a 3000% growth of people using it in less than 10 months.
“We know international students and visitors are more likely to attend hospital emergency departments for health issues that don’t require hospital care. This can be costly and increases pressure on emergency departments and local GPs which are already overcrowded,” Dr Benson said.
“Blua is also playing an important role in regional communities where many international visitors and students reside, but bricks and mortar GPs in those areas are already struggling to deal with patient demand.”
Services like Blua can help meet the needs of the nation’s rising population, which is expected to grow by 1.7% in 2023–24, and with most of the increase attributed to the return of overseas students, skilled temporary visa holders and those on working holidays.
Bupa is the only health insurer to offer a 24/7 telehealth service, with doctors able to speak English, Punjabi, Hindi, Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tamil, Bahasa, Persian and Japanese.
Bupa Health Insurance International and Corporate Portfolio Director Simon Uzunovski said Blua was just one of many ways Bupa helped international visitors and students including understanding the health system.
“Our international customers are increasingly using Blua to access medical care from the convenience of their own homes. Blua offers a simple and convenient telehealth service focused on providing the right care, at the right time and in the right environment, which is helping ease pressure on the health care system,” Mr Uzunovski said.
“With international students and visitors living thousands of kilometres away from their homes, we are giving them peace of mind over the health care needs, and we continue to work with universities to help support students so they can focus on their studies.”
Those studying or visiting Victoria were the biggest users of Blua, followed by NSW and Queensland.
For more information, please contact:
Senior External Communications Manager, Bupa
Mob: 0412 868 933
About Bupa Asia Pacific
Bupa is an international healthcare group which has been committed to a purpose of helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives and making a better world for more than 70 years.
Bupa Asia Pacific operates in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, supporting about 7.3 million customers through a broad range of health and care services including health insurance, aged care, dental, medical, optical and hearing services.
Employing more than 22,000 people in the region, we believe that we can make a real difference to the lives of customers through our values, purpose and the way that we deliver personalised care.
Over the past 17+ years we have invested more than AUD$36 million in partnerships and programs focused on improving health of communities across Australia.