Medicals Direct has announced its expansion into mainland Europe with the formation of two joint ventures.
The Stanmore-based provider of medical and underwriting services has joined forces with partners in Germany and Spain as part of its planned growth into continental Europe.
In Spain, it is joining Spanish medical provider Sermesa to form Sermesa Medicals Direct Spain SL, while in Germany it has partnered with an industry consultancy to form Medicals Direct Deutschland.
Medicals Direct will use Sermesa's existing network of nurses and provide the infrastructure, expertise and systems to pioneer the introduction of tele-interviewing in Spain.
The first pilot scheme will begin within weeks.
The German project will provide both tele-interviewing services and a complete replication of the UK nurse network service.
They will initially provide mobile screenings for insurance underwriters, but are likely to begin providing disability claim assessments and domiciliary lifestyle reviews as in the UK.
These two new ventures build on Medicals Direct's initial move into the Republic of Ireland, and it is also contemplating global ventures as interest has been noted from both insurers and re-insurers internationally, including providers from Australia, Bahrain and South Africa.
Mike Benton, CEO of Medicals Direct, says: "Like all providers in the current climate, European insurers are taking cost-cutting seriously and are ready to make efficiencies.
"We attribute much of our expansion to a conviction that innovations in healthcare and insurance provision can fundamentally improve the quality and appeal of the service that our industry provides."
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