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Half a world away

In October 2011 Sophie Thompson relocated from Sydney to the UK, to take up a temporary job as Sales Manager for a boutique clothing range. Despite working long hours and being on the road a lot, she had always been the picture of good health. While she was living in London, she discovered a lump in her breast. It stopped her in her tracks and suddenly made her feel a long way from home.

woman in blue blazerWhen her GP referred her to a specialist, Sophie remembered her Bupa insurance plan and called the 24-hour helpline.

The right support at the right time

The Bupa adviser was a great help. Besides authorising Sophie’s treatment, he went through a list of suitable private breast clinics and even offered to book the appointment. The very next day Sophie went for her mammogram, biopsy and specialist consultation. Unfortunately, when she returned a week later to discuss the results of her tests, she was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer.

The consultant was quick to point out that detecting the cancer early gave Sophie a good chance of making a full recovery. He also spoke to her at length about her options and suggested she take a little time, before making a decision.

When she called the Bupa helpline to explain, Sophie was reassured that whatever path she chose, her treatment would be covered. She was also put in touch with Bupa International’s ‘Health Crossroads’ website. This provided evidence-based information designed to highlight the pros and cons of different types of medical procedures. In addition, allowing patients to make an informed, shared decision with their doctor about the treatment that’s right for them.

The information about treatment options for early stage breast cancer proved extremely useful. When she went back to her consultant a few days later, Sophie was able to have an informed discussion about her treatment. She decided to have a lumpectomy followed by radiotherapy (rather than a full mastectomy and reconstruction) which proved the right decision for Sophie. Since the surgery she has made an excellent recovery and knows that any future treatments will continue to be paid by Bupa.

In 2012 Bupa paid a total of AUD$ 35,492 for Sophie’s treatment. Her Worldwide Health Options premium for core cover was AUD$ 7,474 for the year.

Whilst the case study is fictional, the price and situation detailed reflects events experienced by members.

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