Bupa says technology and virtual consultations are helping international students and visitors get medical support that also eases pressure on the health system.
Bupa’s provides its 24-hour and seven days a week virtual doctor service through Blua.
International students and visitors with Bupa health insurance can access the free telehealth service, depending on their cover.
Bupa said that 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 the 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 3,000 per cent growth in the number 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,” said Dr Benson.
“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.”
Bupa Health Insurance International and Corporate Portfolio director Simon Uzunovski said Blua was just one of the ways the company helps 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,” said Mr Uzunovski.
"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.”