AXA Assistance is fully committed to meeting its customers’ every need. All AXA Assistance employees and their providers ensure attentive, empathetic support and a rapid response, to look after you in all circumstances. This section presents various testimonies from our customers, experts and various partners: in ”Two paths cross”, two stakeholders recount their mutual experience; in “Expert Testimonies”, an AXA Assistance expert presents a specific domain; while Our ”Corporate Responsibility Initiatives” relate various corporate responsibility undertakings led by AXA Assistance.

Lisa, victim of the Nepal Earthquake, tells her story

The SOLIMED project: an incredible chain of solidarity

Jean Karmarz, Director of Health at AXA Assistance, discusses the Second Medical Opinion service

Raphaël Marchand, Head of Safety for AXA Assistance, discusses Business Continuity Planning (BCP)

Dr Cai Glushak, International Medical Director at AXA Assistance, discusses the Ebola epidemic

Proud to break new boundaries

A taste for adventure

A taste for adventure

Both of you have personal experience of medical repatriation. Tell us more?

What do a doctor and a young globetrotter have in common? A shared taste for adventure, their own personal experience of assistance. 

Yaël: After graduating in June 2013, I took off to travel the world. Then, one day in Quebec City, I felt a stabbing pain in my arm and chest. Given the cost of local medical care, I decided to call AXA Assistance. They advised me to go straight to hospital. And a good job I did, because I was having a heart attack! I was operated immediately and stayed in intensive care for a week. AXA Assistance then oversaw my discharge: they organised an ambulance to take me to Montreal airport, where I met the doctor who would accompany me on the flights back to Paris and Lyon, then home. I was never left alone. I’m so glad that I took out the assistance option with my health insurance. It proved very useful.

François: I am a qualified gynaecologist and have worked with AXA Assistance since 2000. Over the last 14 years, I have managed more than 50 repatriations, each one in its own unique circumstances.

Doctor, why did you choose to work in assistance?

François: I have two parallel careers: my gynaecology practice in Paris, and the missions I handle for AXA Assistance. Having already worked on emergency mountain rescue operations, assistance appealed to my sense of adventure. Like Yaël, I wanted to travel. Assistance gave me the opportunity.

Is repatriation always an appropriate response to health problems abroad?

François: No. Take Yaël’s case: given the severity of his symptoms, the medical regulation team advised him to seek emergency care locally, in Quebec. We appraise every individual situation by telephone, listening to the patient and talking to local doctors before determining whether or not to repatriate a patient. Our contacts help us build up a clear understanding of the quality of local care.

Yaël: Personally, I didn't actually want to go home. After a week in intensive care, I was feeling physically better and reassured. And financially, my hospital stay wasn't costing me directly. I was ready to continue my travels, but AXA Assistance decided to repatriate me so that I could convalesce at home. They didn't want me taking any risks!

What happens during a repatriation operation?

Yaël: I was astounded by the organisation, timing, logistics and the overall quality of care. The AXA Assistance doctor gave me a very thorough check-up; I was invited into the Air France lounge and travelled in business class with a bottle of oxygen on hand for emergencies.

François: The quality of AXA Assistance’s organisation and equipment means that we can work very efficiently. The repatriation unit handles the logistics, and the doctors have access to cutting-edge equipment. For example, we are the only assistance provider with a portable ultrasound unit. Everything is done to minimise the risk and leave doctors free to focus on their primary concern: the patient.