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We love it when one of our readers spontaneously recommends a great company. Thanks to Lois for referring Ilham Bernichi Claudet from Swiss Med Office to us. We caught up with Ilham and asked her to tell us more about her company and herself.

When and why did you start Swiss Med Office?
In all areas, everyone wants the best. This is even more true when it comes to health, and when we and our loved ones are sick. But how do you know if a doctor or surgeon is good? Unless we have a health specialist in our environment, we have no way of knowing the professional reputation of a practitioner.
Hence the importance of having a neutral and independent health confidant at his side, who guides us in our choices.

What is behind the name?
Swiss: because we only work with Swiss partners to ensure the quality of our services.
Med: for medical.
Office: for the family office side, since we work as a medical concierge or PA.

What is your background: nationality, education, why Geneva?
I was born in Casablanca and spent the last 30 years of my life in French-speaking Switzerland (and am also a Swiss national), first in Geneva where I obtained my international diploma as a travel specialist (IATA) in 1993, while I studied experimental sciences and did my final internship at Rhône Poulenc Pharma, then in Morges. So I spent about ten years in travel, at a time when the Concorde was all the rage, particularly as a sales manager and agency manager in a United Nations office.
I am very fortunate to have been invited to visit and test palaces or the Business Class of the best airlines; very rewarding experiences. I have been around the world three times, met unforgettable people and discovered unique sites. Travelling forges the mind and nourishes the soul, which is why I feel at home everywhere and adapt quickly. As some would say, I am a citizen of the world!
After Swissair's grounding and the arrival of the Internet, travel agencies were confronted with a new business model dictated by low-costs. They have begun to charge for administrative and advisory fees in the absence of the commissions historically granted by airlines. I realized then how valuable the quality of neutral professional advice was.
Thanks to these long years of experience in the field, rich in human contact, I have built an important business network, which has allowed me to access the health sector. A position was created for me at the end of 2007 in the largest group of private clinics in French-speaking Switzerland and the second largest in Switzerland.
As part of my duties, my role has been to advise and support VIP patients, both Swiss and foreign. In order to meet their needs in terms of medical and surgical treatment, often in emergencies. I have made it my responsibility to facilitate their access to care by offering them personalized care, while guaranteeing them total confidentiality and security.
The next step was obvious for me and in 2017, I founded Swiss Med Office.

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Who recommends doctors to you? How do you go about rating or screening medical professionals?
According to the WFH's medical statistics, there are nearly 40,000 doctors practicing in Switzerland. I do not claim to know them all, nor do I claim to distribute the good and bad points myself.
On the other hand, I am able to advise my clients based on:

  • the experiences of all my clients since 2007;
  • my own knowledge of the medical environment;
  • a network of independent professionals that I mobilize on a case-by-case basis in order to find the right practitioner;
  • the continuous training to which I am committed and the permanent updating of my knowledge in terms of techniques and innovations, many in each field;
  • the occasional use of mystery shoppers (especially for aesthetics).

Swiss Med Office collaborates with the largest hospital groups in Switzerland, as well as with private practices, physiotherapy centers or medical imaging institutes, among others. It also actively monitors in order to identify and evaluate, according to the modus operandi described above, new providers in the health sector.

What is the most common request you receive?
It's funny, but what I'm often asked is who to avoid!
Unless you have a health specialist in your circle, patients have no way of knowing the professional reputation of a practitioner.

What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome while setting up this business?
Swiss Med Office came on the market with an innovative idea. The offer was certainly well received, but especially by those who immediately understood the added value of our service and who have renewed their confidence in us since 2017.
The biggest challenge was therefore to explain the added value of our services to those who did not see the usefulness of our services at first. Except that when they are in need, that is, when faced with a health problem and the difficulty of choosing the right doctor, surgeon or clinic, people realize the importance of being well supported. One day, a person called me from the emergency room, devastated and totally panicked, not knowing what to do; she asked me to assist her in her efforts and the simple fact of having someone at her side immediately reassured her.
Today, word of mouth works well and we love to receive new customers recommended by their friends.

Do you have plans to expand in Switzerland?
Our clientèle is mainly local and includes individuals (Swiss families, expatriates) and companies based in the Lake Geneva region, as well as a number of foreign nationals, especially from the Middle East. Our wish is to retain and increase our indigenous clientèle; as well as further develop foreign clientèle. That is why we will be present at the Swiss Pavilion of Expo 2020 Dubai, to represent Switzerland during the Health & Wellness Week, which will be held in parallel with the Arab Health Show.

Does your service cost anything? Do customers pay you? 
Swiss Med Office does not receive commission from any doctor or medical institution, which is the assurance of neutral advice. This mode of operation — outside the commission system — guarantees that Swiss Med Office works in the patient's interest and that he or she is guided to the specialist and care center best suited to his or her needs.
Swiss Med Office offers two pricing options:

  • Business: the annual flat rate is calculated individually according to the needs, objectives and volumes set by the company itself
  • Personal: the flat rate is in the form of an annual subscription

Anything else you think our readers need to know.
Swiss Med Office can claim to be the only Swiss operator without a commercial link with the doctors and institutions to whom it refers its patients. Only their interest is taken into account, hence our company's motto - Swiss Med Office gives power back to the patient — and our USP, which could be summed up in three key concepts, which are particularly close to our hearts: neutrality, independence, and security.


discount button2Swiss Med Office gives as a gift for knowitall.ch readers
Ilham is kindly offering a BEAUTY subscription valid until December 2020 (advice and personalized coordination for all matters relating to medicine and/or cosmetic surgery with the advantages reserved exclusively for Swiss Med Office members: preferential price, VIP treatment, etc.).

Swiss Med Office Sàrl
Ilham Bernichi Claudet
Rte de la Chocolatière 30
1026 Echandens
+41 79 817 99 94
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.swissmedoffice.com