AXA has launched a toll-free helpline with NGO partner Sewa International in Delhi NCR, Haryana, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan to provide telemedicine services for medical ailments and information on the availability of critically needed healthcare supplies in response to the COVID-19 crisis in India. The helpline, Supportive Action Across Telemedicine and Healthcare (SAATH), is a joint corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative between AXA entities with local operations including AXA France Vie Reinsurance branch, AXA GO Business Operations and AXA XL in India.
SAATH will connect people to doctors including general practitioners, ayurvedic doctors, nutritionists and Sewa International volunteers. In addition to telemedicine services, it will provide information on: availability of hospital beds and oxygen cylinders; ambulance assistance; home Intensive Care Unit setup information; food supplies for COVID-19 patients; access to psychologists; and more. Using the wide range of services, SAATH aims to increase acceptability, affordability and accessibility to telemedicine and virtual care.
This initiative further demonstrates AXA’s commitment to enable access to healthcare for the most vulnerable and to support the Government of India’s virtual care initiatives including the National Digital Health Mission. Since 2017, AXA France Vie India Reinsurance branch has been a leading provider of reinsurance to the social sector and has positively impacted more than 200 million lives.
Clemence Gastaldi, CEO of AXA Life & Health International Solutions, AXA France, commented: “I’m very proud of the joint CSR initiative led by our Indian entities, including AXA France Vie Reinsurance branch, to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in India. With our SAATH helpline, we are providing real-time hospital information, and teleconsultation for hospitalization to the public at a single toll-free number. We will continue to use our assets and know-how to support Indian families.”
Ankur Nijhawan, CEO of AXA France Vie – Indian Reinsurance Branch shared: “The COVID-19 pandemic has made us revisit how best to make healthcare accessible. Virtual care is safer than self-medication and it is our objective is to make telemedicine acceptable, affordable, and accessible. Our continuous efforts in India and our drive to innovate has led to the creation of a very special initiative – SAATH, named for the word togetherness in Hindi – a telemedicine helpline offered free of cost to users. Looking towards a better future, we aim to create trust and an approach to medicine better adapted to the needs of individuals and their loved ones. This is also a conscious step we are taking to support the Government of India for making quality healthcare available to all.”
Sebastien Legrand, India Head – AXA GO Business Operations, shared his thoughts: “We are very pleased to be associated with Project SAATH that enables us to connect with the community in multiple ways to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in India. We have always been at the forefront of taking care of our communities since our inception in India and, this initiative further strengthens our commitment to Health and Disease Prevention a key pillar of our Corporate Responsibility strategy. SAATH is the next milestone in this journey. India has seen some torrid times in the last few months, and SAATH is our preparatory step to help the local authorities with adequate health-related support for a better penetration in the states of its operations. I’m confident that the real-time information access will go a long way in combating the far-reaching consequences of COVID-19”.
Derek Nazareth, Head of Global Operations for AXA XL, Country Head India said: “AXA XL in India has continued to demonstrate its commitment to helping local communities through its CSR activities. By acting as ONE AXA to create SAATH, we’re able to support those families most affected by the COVID-19 crisis, ensuring the most vulnerable get access to the healthcare they require.”