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CEGA Expands Medical Team

CEGA, a Charles Taylor company, expands medical team to meet demand from travel and international health insurers.

Assistance, claims and travel risk management provider CEGA, a Charles Taylor company, has added two new doctors to its in-house medical team; enhancing its global provision for travel and international health insurers.

Dr Fiona Gillespie and Dr Chris Busuttil, emergency medicine consultants at Royal Sussex County Hospital and Queen Alexandra Hospital Portsmouth respectively, are the latest recruits to join CEGA's in-house medics.

CEGA's substantial team of doctors and nurses provide medical assistance and repatriation services to thousands of individuals every year (many in remote and offshore destinations) on behalf of travel and international health insurers. They also work closely with in-house cost containment and claims teams to validate medical bills from overseas hospitals.

CEGA's Chief Medical Officer Dr Lynn Gordon comments, "Extending our multi-skilled medical team reinforces our ability to support a growing number of global clients and their customers with the excellent service they expect.

"We ensure that all our doctors have experience of emergency or remote medicine and that many currently work in an NHS environment - demonstrating our commitment to provide the very best care to those in need, wherever they are in the world."

Read more news and press releases from CEGA on their iPMI Magazine company micro website, click here.  


AIA Agrees Exclusive Asia-Pacific Regional Partnership With Medix

Breakthrough regional partnership between AIA and Medix, a company specialising in quality global medical management, to provide improved healthcare and clinical outcomes for AIA customers.

AIA Group Limited (“AIA” or the “Company”: stock code: 1299) has announced that its customers across the Asia-Pacific region are set to benefit from a landmark partnership agreement with global health management company Medix. AIA and Medix are partnering to deliver a differentiated proposition that optimises care and improves medical outcomes for AIA customers across the region. Under the expanded regional partnership, building on already successful collaborations between AIA and Medix in Hong Kong and Singapore, AIA and Medix will work together to launch in more markets in 2019, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia. Additional markets are planned for launch in 2020 and beyond.

Under the exclusive partnership with Medix, selected AIA customers will have access to “Personal Medical Case Management Services” during some of the most challenging times of their lives. When diagnosed with a serious or complex condition AIA customers will be supported by a dedicated case team throughout their medical journey, from diagnosis through treatment until full recovery. They will gain access to a holistic medical assessment, re-evaluation of their condition, referral for additional diagnostic testing – where needed, ongoing multi-disciplinary consultations, full care coordination, on-going guidance and emotional support provided by Medix’ team of renowned medical experts from around the globe.

Eligible AIA customers will have their medical case reviewed by Medix’ expert team of 300 in-house physicians and a global quality accredited network of over 3,000 world-leading and independent medical specialists, ensuring they have the tools to make educated, quality driven decisions and receive the best possible care throughout their medical journey, anywhere in the world.

Ng Keng Hooi, AIA’s Group Chief Executive and President, said the announcement underscores AIA’s commitment to meet the growing and changing needs of customers and to help people live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives.

“With the advances in medical treatments and technologies, the expectations of Asian consumers have changed significantly, with personalised, quality medical care at the top of their list. This strategic partnership with Medix exemplifies our leadership role in driving economic and social development across the region. It demonstrates our pledge to go beyond the traditional, passive insurance business model by becoming an integral part of our customers’ life journey” he said.

Mark Saunders, AIA’s Group Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer with responsibility for healthcare underlined AIA’s strategy and deliberate investment in helping improve the health and well-being of its customers, saying “AIA’s expanded partnership with Medix represents a significant step forward in delivering our long-term strategic vision in the health and well-being space, where we’ve invested significantly and consistently over the past several years. It builds on a highly successful partnership in Hong Kong and Singapore, where we’ve been able to provide Medix’ unparalleled medical case management services to our customers.

“To successfully deliver on our vision to help people be healthier for longer we are building an eco-system of services and partners to help people on all steps of the health journey through predict, prevent, diagnose, treat and recover stages, improving their overall wellbeing. Our exclusive partnership with Medix across our markets enhances AIA’s distinctive and differentiated proposition in health and well-being. By providing our policyholders with Personal Medical Case Management AIA helps overcome local healthcare disparities and makes international expertise, locally available through a mutually beneficial collaborative process” Saunders said.

Sigal Atzmon, CEO of Medix commended AIA’s visionary and innovative approach to driving meaningful improvements in people’s lives across the region.

“This is a partnership that will make a genuine difference; it represents a shared vision and a commitment to reduce unwarranted healthcare variations across the region, improve the medical accessibility, medical outcomes and most importantly, improve the overall care experience” Ms Atzmon said.

“Through this partnership, we provide personalised medical care, empower patients with the knowledge and tools they deserve to make educated decisions and offer active coverage in the daily lives of each policyholder. As such, we are enabling an unprecedented democratisation of the entire healthcare landscape.

“AIA, as one of the world’s largest and leading insurers should be applauded for the courageous, pioneering spirit they have shown over the last 100 years. Their vision and commitment to improving the lives of their customers/people across the region is unwavering and we are honoured to be a part of their next chapter,” Ms Atzmon concluded.

About AIA

AIA Group Limited and its subsidiaries (collectively “AIA” or the “Group”) comprise the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group. It has a presence in 18 markets in Asia-Pacific – wholly-owned branches and subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, New Zealand, Macau, Brunei, Cambodia, a 97 per cent subsidiary in Sri Lanka, a 49 per cent joint venture in India and a representative office in Myanmar.

The business that is now AIA was first established in Shanghai a century ago in 1919. It is a market leader in the Asia-Pacific region (ex-Japan) based on life insurance premiums and holds leading positions across the majority of its markets. It had total assets of US$230 billion as of 31 December 2018.

AIA meets the long-term savings and protection needs of individuals by offering a range of products and services including life insurance, accident and health insurance and savings plans. The Group also provides employee benefits, credit life and pension services to corporate clients. Through an extensive network of agents, partners and employees across Asia-Pacific, AIA serves the holders of more than 33 million individual policies and over 16 million participating members of group insurance schemes.

AIA Group Limited is listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited under the stock code “1299” with American Depositary Receipts (Level 1) traded on the over-the-counter market (ticker symbol: “AAGIY”).

About Medix Medical Services 

Established in 2006, the Medix Group is a global, leading provider of innovative, high quality health management solutions. With offices in London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Tel Aviv, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Melbourne and a client base exceeding 3 million members in over 90 countries, Medix offers its clients -- primarily global health & life insurers, financial groups, large corporates and government institutions -- significant value-added services in the world of healthcare. Medix’ medical team is comprised of 300 in-house doctors alongside nurses, research experts, medical administration teams and a quality accredited global network of over 3,000 specialists and 1,500 leading hospitals.

Through its various services, Medix offers its customers fast-track solutions to proven better medical outcomes. Medix provides Global Personal Case Management Services, Disease Prevention Management Services, Digital Health Solutions, Home Care Services, Health Strategy and Medical Governance Services to insurers, large corporates and government institutions.

Medix is a Shared Value company that strives to enable people around the world to have access to the best medical care possible while eliminating unwarranted healthcare variations and helping to control medical cost inflation. Believing that the accessibility, quality and sustainability of medical care are one of the most important components of social rights, Medix is very passionate about these issues and is globally fully dedicated to these activities.



Collinson Continues Medical Assistance Expansion With Aspen Medical Partnership

Collinson has further enhanced its medical assistance capability through a partnership with Aspen Medical, an Australian-owned global healthcare leader providing remote medical solutions across a range of sectors.

Aspen Medical provides innovative and tailored healthcare services, from the provision of a single paramedic to a full spectrum solution involving a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals. Further services include, ambulances, medical facilities, equipment, consumables, pharmacy products and aero-medical evacuation services (AME), including the company's own strategically-positioned clinics and aviation assets.

Often working in locations that are remote, challenging or under-resourced, its multi award-winning solutions provide clients with world-class healthcare services in any setting. The partnership will enable Collinson to extend its assistance reach and help customers to access quality medical services in locations where existing medical infrastructure is lacking. By augmenting Aspen Medical's ground-level capability with the wider Collinson global medical and evacuation network and its 24/7 always-on medical and security operations centres, the partnership will create a fully comprehensive assistance service for complex international deployments.

Aspen Medical's services also include managing environmental and public health projects, medical training and consultancy, providing occupational health and supporting major sporting events and conferences that need dedicated clinical support.

Scott Sunderman, Head of Assistance at Collinson, commented: "Aspen Medical is renowned for its high-profile contracts with defence, mining, oil and gas, government and humanitarian organisations. From running trauma hospitals in Mosul, Iraq, for the WHO or staffing and managing a UN facility for its personnel in Somalia, through to supporting the UK, US, Australian and New Zealand governments on the construction and management of Ebola Treatment facilities in Sierra Leone and Liberia, our partnership with Aspen Medical truly gives us a global healthcare reach and access to expertise unparalleled in the market.

"This experience will be vital as we broaden our global medical assistance and travel risk management services to ensure clients have the best possible protection, wherever they may be located."

This strategic alliance further enhances Collinson's new 24/7/365 integrated travel risk management solution in partnership with global risk and security consultancy, Drum Cussac, as well as the appointment of its new Global Medical Director, Simon Worrell.

Glenn Keys, Executive Chairman and co-founder of Aspen Medical, said: "Collinson is recognised globally for providing an exceptional medical assistance service. This partnership with Collinson further develops Aspen Medical's global capability with an integrated travel risk management solution. When combined with Drum Cussac's expertise, their global assistance App, security alerts, location tracking and monitoring, together we are delivering a very powerful new capability in the market for those seeking assistance in times of need."


Warning Against Fake Anti-Rabies Vaccine In The Philippines

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned against a counterfeit anti rabies vaccine circulating in the Philippines right now.

This time of year, many travelers travel to the East, but the risk for tourists of getting this counterfeit vaccine is minimal.

SOS International has responded urgently to the warning and contacted its local partners and suppliers in the area and they all confirm that the fake vaccines have not been utilised at any of SOS International’s preferred hospitals or clinics.

The vaccine itself is considered to be pure placebo and thus has no particular side effects or consequences, however there can be a risk of not being protected against rabies. The Department of Health is in the process of identifying the individuals who received the vaccine in order to give them proper treatment.

This underlines the importance of travellers contacting the alarm centre of their insurance company when in need of medical assistance abroad. This ensures that they are referred to proper clinics and hospitals and that they receive the right treatment and the right level of treatment.

In 2018, SOS International assisted more than 800 travellers in the Philippines.

Facts on rabies

  • Rabies virus is found in the saliva of the infected animal. The infection is transmitted through bites or, in rare instances, by scratching or by spitting in the eyes or in open wounds.
  • Rabies is associated with lethal inflammation of the brain and an almost 100 percent of fatality, so receiving treatment immediately after the exposure is of a paramount importance.
  • Rabies may be prevented by immunisation.

Read also: 

Thailand optrapper kampen mod rabies (DK)

Thailand trapper opp kampen mot rabies (NO)

Thailand trappar upp kampen mot rabies (SE)

Thaimaa tehostaa rabieksen torjuntaa (FI)


International SOS And Chinese Enterprise Association (SINGAPORE) Sign A Partnership Agreement

International SOS and Chinese Enterprise Association (Singapore) have signed a partnership agreement. The two parties will work together to assist the members of the association to protect the health and safety of employees, raise awareness of risk prevention in overseas operations, and enhance the commercial resilience of business operations.

Chinese enterprises are paying more attention to overseas operations. International SOS will provide medical and security risk prevention and management solutions for members of the association. It will help Chinese enterprises to reduce overseas operational risks and support them with their “go global” strategies from their bases in Singapore. 

Leaders of the Chinese Embassy in Singapore participated in the signing ceremony, under the joint witness of a number of government officials, business and international SOS representatives. Qiu Zhikun, president of the Chinese Enterprise Association (Singapore), and Tan Mui Huat, President and CEO, Asia, International SOS, signed the partnership agreement. At the same time, the Chinese Enterprise Association (Singapore) also recognised International SOS as their 'Travel Safety and Health Ambassador'.

Chinese companies have adopted Singapore as one of the footholds for internationalisation. In the process of expanding their business to the Asia-Pacific region, and the world, there is a need for professional organisations to help them carry out medical and travel safety management. In response to the needs of Chinese companies expanding overseas, International SOS has also designed integrated medical and safety based on the “3A model” – Assess, Advice and Assist. Risk prevention and control solutions help companies effectively identify, prevent and respond to risks and enhance the sustainable development of business operations.”

According to the agreement, International SOS will provide members of the association with practical training on medical safety skills and share cutting-edge information; actively participate in and assist the association to organise first-aid training, health promotion lectures; provide medical and travel security risk management advice and assistance to members of the association. It will support Chinese organisations to enable better fulfilment of Duty of Care obligations and achieve sustainable development of the company.

Qiu Zhikun, president of the Chinese Enterprise Association (Singapore), said: “Singapore is one of the preferred foreign investment destinations for Chinese companies and an important platform for Chinese companies to go global. The complex security environments and different standards for medical facilities overseas pose a challenge to the medical, health and safety of the employees of Chinese enterprises. The Chinese Enterprise Association (Singapore) is pleased to sign a memorandum of understanding with International SOS to jointly safeguard the new security operations and overseas business development of Chinese enterprises."

Tan Mui Huat, President and CEO, Asia, International SOS, said: "International SOS has a global service network and solutions to provide comprehensive health and safety protection for employees and promote the sustainable growth of global business. International SOS is pleased to partner with Chinese Enterprise Association (Singapore) to provide members with world-class service, advanced management perspectives and best practices for overseas risk prevention and management, provide security for new operations in China, and develop smoothly in Asia Pacific and globally."

After the signing of the memorandum, International SOS held the "Travel Risk Outlook 2019 Seminar". This discussed new changes, new challenges and new programmes in the Asia-Pacific region and global health and safety risks in 2019. The conference also provided risk mitigation recommendations to help Chinese companies cope with the various security and medical risks that their growing global workforce may encounter.



Healix International Signs Up To UN Global Compact

Healix International, the global travel risk management and international medical and security assistance provider, has signed up to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC); a voluntary commitment from businesses to act in an environmentally and socially responsible way. The largest initiative of its type, 9,933 companies across 160 countries have joined so far, since it was announced by Kofi Annan in 1999.

Healix International’s decision to sign up for the UNGC demonstrates the company’s commitment to operating in an ethical manner.

Companies signing up to the UNGC are committing to taking a principles-based approach to doing business.  The 10 principles of the UNGC are derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other global programmes and strategies to create a framework that expects businesses to operate in ways that meet fundamental responsibilities, in terms of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

Healix International CEO, Mike Webb, said: “This is an opportunity for Healix International to continue to enhance the way it does business by incorporating the 10 Principles of the UNGC into our policies, procedures and strategies. We are excited to align our business with these universal principles and will be submitting a yearly communication of our progress.

“Crucially, this commitment forms part of our focus on building a company culture based on integrity and recognising our responsibility to humanity and the planet as a whole. We firmly believe this is the best way to build a sustainable business focused on long-term success.”

More Healix International News, check their micro web site on iPMI Magazine, click here.


Collinson Appoints New Global Medical Director

Collinson has appointed Dr Simon Worrell to the position of Global Medical Director to lead its medical services department.

Dr Worrell has over 20 years of experience in the delivery of international medical assistance and emergency care, and also brings significant specialist expertise in immunology and communicable diseases. He joins Collinson from Healix.

In his new role, Simon will lead Collinson’s medical team and provide advice on medical issues, including pandemics from Ebola to Zika, helping to keep travellers and expatriates safe as they work and holiday internationally.

The appointment of a new Global Medical Director coincides with Collinson’s recent launch of its integrated 24/7/365 travel risk management solution in partnership with Drum Cussac, the global risk and security consultancy. This aims to help organisations fulfil their duty of care and enhance the wellbeing of employees travelling abroad.

Simon’s expertise will strengthen the medical elements of Collinson’s travel risk management solution such as pre-travel disease and vaccination briefings, emergency evacuations and international medical assistance. 

Scott Sunderman, Head of Assistance at Collinson, commented: “Simon’s appointment demonstrates our continued commitment to providing world leading medical advice and medical care to our customers globally.”

Simon spent eight years at Healix as Deputy Chief Medical Officer, having led its medical intelligence and publication efforts, and pioneered eLearning courses in communicable and infectious disease management. He also worked in NHS hospitals for nine years, where he specialised in the management of communicable diseases. 

Simon added: “I’m truly delighted to join Collinson; its ability to provide travellers and expatriates with what they need to be happy, safe and prepared for working and holidaying abroad, is unique in the marketplace. I’m looking forward to bolstering our existing global assistance capacity and footprint by expanding the medical team and promoting Collinson as the go-to firm for medical assistance.”

For further information on Collinson’s global medical and security expertise please click here.


Chinese Travel Expansion: International Assistance Group Welcomes HealthLink As Core Partner

China’s leading provider of mobile health services, HealthLink, has been appointed as an additional Core Partner to the International Assistance Group (IAG), the world’s largest medical and travel assistance alliance.

The decision by IAG’s Supervisory Board followed scrutiny by an internal panel of experts on operational capability, quality and financial standing in accordance with the group’s processes in place for selection at all levels, including an onsite audit. It is the first time that IAG has admitted a third Core Partner in respect of a single country recognising not only size, but also cultural requirements. The China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) predicts that overseas trips by the country’s residents will increase from 145 million to more than 400 million by 2030.

“This appointment indicates the flexibility of our working model to meet the needs of key markets by welcoming strong local presence to contribute to our established practice of shared knowledge, involvement and development. The size and cultural requirements of China and the needs of Chinese travellers abroad is ideally suited to our collaborative way of working,” stated Cécile Hermetz, IAG’s General Manager.

Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Beijing, HealthLink’s network covers 2,863 urban cities and regional areas and with an exclusive direct relationship, through China Fast Rescue Alliance, to 289 emergency alarm centers and tens of thousands of hospitals through the 120 emergency number, where they are able to act as a first point of contact. Employing over 350 people including medical staff, HealthLink is able to cater for the demands of international inbound travellers meeting the challenges of language and cultural barriers.

On gaining the IAG Core Partner status, HeathLink’s CEO Derek Deng commented, “We are extremely proud of attaining this level within such a reputed global alliance of independent assistance companies. It will enhance our international operational network through the Partners and Accredited Service Providers of the IAG.”

According to a Joint Travel Report issued by China Tourism Academy with Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agency, outbound trips reached 130 million in 2017, up 7% from the previous year. Furthermore, whilst Thailand and Japan remain to be the two largest destinations, places like Morocco, Turkey and Tunisia are seeing huge growth in visitor numbers, where preferential exchange rates and reduction of visa requirements have played a part.


Global Assistance Partners Joins International Assistance Group In South Korea

The Republic of Korea (South Korea) made it to the list of the most visited countries in the world with an influx of 17.2 million tourists last year. This was an important consideration for International Assistance Group (IAG), the largest alliance of independent assistance companies worldwide, whose ambitious plan is to offer its affiliates a vetted network of assistance providers in the world’s most popular tourist destinations.

With this goal in mind, IAG announced the accreditation of Global Assistance Partners Co., Ltd. (GAP), a pioneering independent medical assistance company based in South Korea. Over the past three decades, it has garnered an excellent reputation as the medical assistance provider of choice for patients, hospitals and international assistance companies.

GAP dates back to 1983 and is the brainchild of its visionary CEO, Gna Chung, a former tour operator for foreign travellers in South Korea. The company benefits from Mr Chung’s wealth of expertise, and particularly the experience he gained from 1999 to 2005, when he was tasked with arranging medical evacuations and repatriations of mortal remains from North to South Korea on behalf of a major player in the assistance industry.

Demand was growing rapidly at that time, with tourist arrivals increasing from 4,659,785 in 1999 to 6,022,752 six years later. In response to this influx of foreign travellers and expatriates from countries as diverse as China, Norway and Brazil, Global Assistance Partners was officially established as an independent entity in 2009 to meet a need for medical assistance services.

Global Assistance Partners has been a correspondent for the IAG since July 2013 and was ranked No.2 in the IAG Quality Scoring in 2016. This impressive rating proved a solid foundation on which to add to the existing collaboration between the two entities. GAP completed the rigorous selection process and joined the IAG Partnership as an Accredited Service Provider in April this year.

Tourism is expected to continue growing at a rapid pace and Asia is the world’s fastest growing travel market these days. This is particularly true of the Asia-Pacific region, thus for us having Global Assistance Partners on board as a highly qualified local Partner is of great value,” said Cécile Hermetz, General Manager of the International Assistance Group.

Over the years, the GAP team has worked tirelessly to create a qualified network of local hospitals so that it can refer clients to facilities within one hour’s drive of their location. Today, the company is able to serve clients throughout the country by arranging direct billing services in over 200 medical facilities across South Korea.

Only great people provide great services. Global Assistance Partners places a high value on understanding its clients, and their culture, language and needs. Its 24/7 call centre boasts an IT solution developed in-house for call recording, call analysis and case management. It is staffed by 10 experienced multilingual operators and nurses providing 24-hour assistance in English, Japanese and Korean. The team manages more than 15,000 calls per year for over 200 international clients, including several of the world’s largest assistance companies.

GAP core services include: medical referrals to the nearest medical facility, arranging admissions at medical facilities, provision of medical reports, medical interpretation and translation, TPA and GOP services for medical expenses, repatriation/evacuation by aeroplane, helicopter and ambulance, doctor/nurse escort, house calls by a doctor, private caregivers, repatriation of mortal remains and concierge services.

About International Assistance Group

International Assistance Group (IAG) is the largest network of independent assistance companies and service providers across the world. Founded in 1992, International Assistance Group was originally created by five European companies seeking to help one another provide high-quality services.

The group’s success has attracted accredited companies around the world and it today boasts 62 Partners and Accredited Service Providers. Last year alone, International Assistance Group’s Partners collectively handled over 5.2 million cases, 32,450 medical repatriations and 1.6 million roadside cases. IAG’s international presence and range of services enables it to meet the needs of more than 154 million beneficiaries worldwide.

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Immediate Access Needed to Save Lives in Famine-stricken Communities in South Sudan

iPMI Magazine International Emergency Medical and Travel Assistance News: In the wake of three years of ongoing conflict and political turmoil in South Sudan, more than 100,000 people now face starvation and death in Leer and Mayendit counties, and more than one million additional people in Greater Unity region are on the brink of famine, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification update recently released by the Republic of South Sudan, the United Nations, and humanitarian agencies.

Insecurity continues to force families from their homes and hinder humanitarian access in South Sudan. Across the country, nearly 5 million people—or more than 40 percent of the population—face life-threatening hunger, and that number is only expected to increase if additional aid is unable to reach those in need.

"Lives have already been lost because people haven’t had enough to eat, and the situation worsens with every passing day. We can prevent more people from dying, but we must be able to reach them. And we need to reach them now," said Golam Azam, International Medical Corps’ Country Director in South Sudan. "We call on all parties to the conflict to immediately provide humanitarian organizations with safe, unrestricted access to communities in need."

As the crisis in Leer County deepened, families fled to nearby Nyal County to find temporary shelter, food, water, health care, and other critical relief. International Medical Corps, one of the only health organizations working in Nyal County, is supporting host communities and displaced persons by providing lifesaving nutrition services; primary, secondary, and reproductive health care; psychosocial and mental health care; support for survivors of gender-based violence; and awareness-raising to help prevent the spread of disease. International Medical Corps operates a clinic that serves the more than 80,000 people now living in Nyal town as well as mobile clinics that reach an additional 20,000 persons displaced from Leer County. In addition, the organization has also trained community health workers in Leer County to identify and refer those with malnutrition or other common diseases for treatment and support.

International Medical Corps teams are working in seven of South Sudan’s 11 states, providing health care, nutrition services, and other relief to hundreds of thousands of people. This includes working in 77 health facilities and supporting a stabilization center in the displacement camp in the capital of Juba, which provides 24-hour care for severely malnourished children with medical complications.

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Medical, Travel And Technical Assistance


A guide to leading international medical and travel assistance companies and providers, operating within leisure, expatriate and corporate business travel markets globally.