International SOS, a leading medical and security risk services company, and Future Care Inc, a maritime telemedical assistance and onshore medical case management service, have formed a strategic joint venture. The JV will unite Future Care’s depth of industry expertise and International SOS’ global provider network to deliver tele-medical assistance and onshore medical management services to the commercial maritime shipping sector.
Defining the advantages of the JV in delivering medical solutions to shipowners and seafarers, Ms Christina DeSimone, told Hong Kong Maritime Hub:
“The partners of the JV will continue to provide their respective well-established programs of quality medical management services to their individual clients as before. Building on this successful foundation, the partners will work closely with clients to identify and define new global products and services that better serve mariners, ship owners, ship managers and their insurers.”
Future Care aims to integrate seamlessly with International SOS global assistance capabilities and have access to shared technology and infrastructure. International SOS clients will benefit from Future Care’s expertise in medical case management, rehabilitation and audit/forensic medical accounting reviews for the commercial maritime sector.
Together, the organizations will focus on combining and leveraging aspects of both service offerings to deliver improved outcomes for clients.
“For Future Care clients, the many benefits of the collaboration include client access to increased assets, such as expanded preferential medical provider networks world-wide; enhanced global on-site case management and increased negotiating strength with providers regarding medical pricing. Additional benefits include client access to 24/7 Call Centres in Beijing and Johannesburg, South Africa and increased local language capabilities, among many others,” says Ms DeSimone.
The number of ships in the world’s merchant fleets exceeds 50,000. Only a minority of the seafarers onboard these ships enjoy the medical and health benefits of professionally managed health care.
“If humanitarian and financial considerations were not enough, international law through the Maritime Labour Convention requires that the shipowner make available “health protection and medical care as comparable as possible to that which is generally available to workers ashore” for the crew onboard ship,” Ms DeSimone concludes.
“Given these considerations, the JV partners anticipate a significant near-term increased demand for the types of services they provide to the maritime community, as well as long term growth,” she concludes.