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The Director of Social & Health Insurances SZV, Mr. Glen A. Carty has stated that the re-opening of the SZV offices for appointments, will take place when given clearance by the chair of the EOC, the Prime Minister and implementation of the proper hygiene and social distancing protocols at SZV. “We are preparing to re-open our doors and offer customers a new experience with the focus on assisting them to transition with us to our online services. We have no exact date when we will re-open our doors. The goal of SZV, is to re-open and have customers visit only if ‘absolutely’ necessary, our priority is to ensure the safety of customers and staff.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, since March 17, SZV closed it’s doors for customers and visitors, maintaining 24/7 online access and phone operations during regular opening hours. The ongoing automation of SZV, made it possible for SZV employees to work from home and enable flex-operations, to ensure limited disruption of services to customers and stakeholders. In the continued interest of public health and safety, the re-opening of SZV offices, will mean that not all services will require that customers ‘need’ to visit the office to get assistance, and not all SZV staff will be stationed to work from the office.
“We never ‘closed’ or stopped working, and once we re-open our doors, we will not go back to the old way of service at SZV. The COVID-19 pandemic is creating a new reality in how we provide public services. We’ve actually improved our access to SZV during this pandemic and we want our customers to continue to be able to benefit from their social & health insurances without being back and forth to different offices. Now more than ever, we need to be able to sync data to allow us to do our work in a faster and safer way. We look forward to having more entities on board with us, syncing data and access to service, such as Government services, Tax Administration, Chamber of Commerce, Labour office, Census office etc. This way forming an E-Government.” – Glen A. Carty, Director SZV
The re-opening of SZV will come paired with a faster transition to E-health services, online self-service and extended customer (technical) support services. The automation of SZV services is part of the SZV 3.0. strategic plan, the full implementation of this has been delayed several times due to hurricanes Irma and Maria, and now again with COVID-19. Over the years, SZV has been able to do phased launches of digital portals between SZV, health care service providers and employers, syncing data to improve service, accuracy and most off all reduce paper work and visits to the SZV office. As a result of these automation improvements, now in the midst of COVID-19, the majority of SZV customers have maintained consistent access to their benefits, including those with expired medical insurance cards. Mr. Carty admits that the ‘instant’ transition of SZV to online and phone services only, did not come without the necessary learning curves. Over the past weeks, SZV’s team has been able to adapt current procedures to make it possible for customers to get service without visiting the SZV office. The adjusted procedures are available on the COVID-19 page on www.szv.sx.
“No one can say they were fully prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic. With our experience so far, we can prepare for the changes ahead and adjust our public health and safety protocols for what may be the new normal. At SZV, we are looking at a future with possibly, no more ‘cards’. We’ve already stopped the use of paper mutation forms for Employers. All of this means less reasons to visit SZV. ” said Mr. Carty.
Mr. Carty elaborated further with the comment: “We need to be flexible, but secure in our work. We are going digital, but this will not take away from our direct communication with our customers. Going digital will make it even easier for us all. If you cannot e-mail us a scan copy, send us a clear picture from your mobile phone instead. In our plans, we include extended customer technical support, where we can better guide our customers in using our digital services. With public health and safety considered in all our decision making, our appointments will be for those who ‘absolutely’ need to visit us and those that require additional assistance or have no online access at all.”
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