The crisis triggered by the COVID 19 virus has led ICMIF member and cooperative insurer the Sancor Seguros Group (Argentina) to rethink its role in society and its own operations.
The changes implied a commitment from the top and a systematization of the initiatives, starting with the creation of a Crisis Committee made up of the company's heads of departments and Managers. The Committee, working 24/7 in compliance with the Government's decrees, identified risk areas within the organisation and communicated them to the employees with the appropriate measures to be taken.
"The focus of the whole business had to be changed, including bringing teleworking facilities to 2,900 employees but also, helping digitalize many of our intermediaries so that they continue to survive," said Betina Del Valle Azugna, CSR Manager of the Sancor Seguros Group.
As employees were gradually allowed to telework, according to the risks they bore, at the same time, a social network was set up to facilitate two-way communication between the organization and its employees.
The organisation also looked for ways to accompany thir employees during the lockdown, empowering them and also taking care of them and their families.
In addition to sharing health and prevention advice through technology, a flu vaccine was given to all employees and their families, including retirees.
Reaching out to the community
The main office of Sancor Seguros is located in Sunchales, a city of 24,000 residents located in the interior of the country. In a joint action with the Sunchales Municipality, the organisation has provided the inhabitants with an access to the services of "Call the Doctor” at no charge.
With this service, Sunchales has become the first city in the country with a video medical consultation service open to its entire population.
Since the inception of this service, the number of calls has grown significantly thus helping to reduce the demands on the public health system.
The start-up was developed at CITES, the scientific-technological incubator and accelerator of Sancor Seguros that is making other contributions to help with coronavirus relief efforts, including 3D prints of mask frames for the health professionals of Sunchales.
Furthermore, together with the Association of Dairy Industry Workers of Argentina, Sancor Seguros has financed the setup of a fully equipped Intensive Care Unit (with 16 beds).
Present throughout the entire value chain
As mentioned before, the Group has adapted its commercial strategies and also introduced new ones using digital technology in order to minimise the negative economic impact of the Covid 19-led lockdown and maintain support both for policyholders and potential customers. To that end, all the necessary digitalisation processes, such as the adaptation of digital payment systems, are being accelerated in order to facilitate administrative procedures or the digitalisation of documentation that companies must present at the Workers Compensation Board.
The value chain of Sancor Seguros mostly consists of medical providers, pharmacists, etc. The organisation has worked side-by-side with them to enable them to keep up the quality of their work. In Buenos Aires, the current hot spot of the pandemic in Argentina, the organisation has worked online along with all the providers to achieve the speed and simplification of any examination or treatment linked to a coronavirus patient – or, at least those which involve respiratory issues. The aim is to handle the situation quickly, with the freedom to do all the necessary medical practices first and inform the authorities later to avoid red tape in the treatment process.
Given that doctors´ offices are closed, Sancor Seguros is working directly with pharmaceutical associations in order to enable people to receive the prescriptions they need for their usual medication. Sancor Seguros, working with the pharmacies - have simplified the procedure for prescriptions. Now they accept WhatsApp pictures or emails of the prescriptions issued by the doctor, or a print of the prescription instead of needing to see the original prescription document as would normally be the case. The aim is to avoid the interruption of delivery of peoples’ usual medication. In this way, diabetics or patients with high blood pressure, for example, can continue their treatments.
Financial donations by employees
The employees and directors of the Sancor Seguros Group have also made a financial contribution within the framework of the "Sunchales Covid-19 Health Plan", which aims to prepare the city in the best possible way against the Coronavirus pandemic from the point of view of medical-assistance care. This contribution amounts to ARS 1,966,200 and was made voluntarily by the employees working for the insurer.
The implementation of the "Sunchales Covid-19 Health Plan" will demand investments of approximately ARS 20 million, which will be used to make necessary improvements in the “Almícar Gorosito” Hospital and to purchase medication, equipment, cleaning elements and disposable supplies, all of which is necessary to ensure compliance with the protocols defined by the Ministry of Health of the Nation.
“We are especially grateful to Grupo Sancor Seguros for having joined this solidarity action. It is time to join forces so that we can be in the best possible conditions to fulfil our primary objective, which is to save lives, "said Gonzalo Toselli, Mayor of Sunchales.