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International health insurance helps expat in Indonesia fly for the best treatment

What do you do when you’re far from home and need an operation that can’t be performed where you are?

South Korean native Jaegu found out while living in Indonesia on a work assignment.

In-depth intel

Jaegu was stationed with his family in the fast-growing expat-friendly region of Cikarang. When he unexpectedly broke his hip, he was told he needed an operation that couldn’t be provided there. He understandably wanted to be evacuated to his home. As an Aetna International member, Jaegu has access to 24/7 emergency medical support and evacuation, as well as a services such as condition management and treatment authorisation. After being contacted by Jaegu and becoming familiar with his situation, the Care and Response Excellence (CARE) team came to understand that it would not be medically advisable for him to go that far away; his injury was too acute and required more immediate surgery. 

Normally, our inclination would have been to transport him to nearby Singapore. But having recently visited neighbouring Malaysia to review its medical capabilities first-hand, we knew that Jaegu could receive high-quality surgical care at a reasonable cost there.

A steady hand

Enter Sharon Clarkson, a manager with our Care and Response Excellence (CARE) clinical team. Sharon arranged for Jaegu’s transport from Cikarang to Kuala Lumpur, where the surgical team was waiting. She also introduced herself to Jaegu’s wife, Soo-jin, explaining the medical and logistical details and answering her many questions. She helped connect Soo-jin to the resources she needed to reserve a hotel room in Malaysia and confirm emergency child care arrangements for the couple’s son back in Indonesia.

Once the operation was over, Sharon called Soo-jin to find out how things were going. Soo-jin said all was good and that Jaegu was much more comfortable. He was even able to sit up and move his leg a bit.

End-to-end support

The doctors there considered the operation a success and recommended that follow-up care occur two weeks later. Because the couple wanted to return to their son as soon as possible and get Soo-jin back to her job, they hoped the follow-up care could happen in Indonesia. Sharon worked with them to arrange that as well as to secure their transportation back as soon as Jaegu was ready for discharge.

Until then, Soo-jin said she would need to buy some things for her stay since she had only brought a few items with her on the unexpected journey. Sharon assured her that she’d had no trouble finding what she needed in Malaysia and provided tips on where to go. That gave Soo-jin the ability to support her husband in his recovery until they flew back to Cikarang.

A grateful family

Soon they were reunited with their son and connected with the medical team in Indonesia. Soo-jin contacted Sharon afterward to express her appreciation for all the help they’d received throughout their ordeal.

“Thanks to you and everyone involved in my husband’s evacuation and arrangements,” she said. “It was all taken care of so fast, and his operation and recovery went very well. This was my first time in Malaysia, and I was surprised to see how well-organised and inexpensive everything was there. You all did a wonderful job. We’re very impressed!”

Our international support involves more than just insurance. Learn about all we do to help our globally mobile members though their health and wellness journey. As an Aetna International member, our CARE team is standing by when you or your loved ones need one-to-one support. If you’d like to learn more about our health and wellness services for expats, get in touch with one of our expert consultants.

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