Category Archives: ALC Health News

IMG Commitment to Growth in Europe

We recently informed you of some changes to the corporate structure of our business where we consolidated our UK operations into International Medical Group Limited. We also explained that further changes would be taking place to support our long-term strategy for our EU business.

These changes are necessary to ensure that IMG can continue to offer compliant insurance coverage in the EU following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. We’re now able to confirm that, with effect from 1 February 2024, IMG Europe AB will administer IMG’s EU business.

ALC Health and IMG Europe are trading names of IMG Europe AB, a private limited company registered in Sweden (559405-0469) with its registered address at c/o SiriusPoint International, Fleminggatan 14, 112 26 Stockholm, Sweden. IMG Europe AB is authorised and regulated by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (SFSA Reg: 71922) and has passporting permissions throughout the EEA.

You can be assured that we are working hard to ensure that these changes do not create any disruption to you or policyholders. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on if you have any queries.

Launch of Improved Member Centre – MyALC

ALC Health, an IMG company is pleased to announce the launch of our new and improved member centre – MyALC Member Center. Registration is simple and takes less than 5 minutes. Within the new member area, you can easily submit claims, read messages securely, request pre-authorisation prior to treatment, search for a medical facility, obtain useful travel and security information, activate a webchat and receive an SMS when there is a new message to read on MyALC

IMG Welcomes Kevin Melton as Global Head of IPMI

International Medical Group (IMG ®) is pleased to announce that Kevin Melton has joined the leadership team as Global Head of IPMI (International Private Medical Insurance). 

In this position, Melton will oversee and grow IMG’s existing IPMI segment, which includes annually renewable long-term individual, family, small to medium size group, and corporate group coverage options for those based in North America, as well as the U.K., E.U., and Rest of World. 

With over 30 years of experience in both the U.S. and U.K, Melton is a valuable addition to our leadership team and we look forward to the contributions he will bring to the organization. 

Special product for pilots and air crew

We have launched a unique new product for pilots and air crew called ‘Flying Colours’. This offers MHD terms to individual
applicants at discounted premiums.

Our CEO, Sarah Jewell, was  recently interviewed about the new product in ‘Global Health  Insider’ magazine. Click HERE to read the interview in full and find  out more about this exciting and
innovative product.

To obtain a quote for ‘Flying Colours’, please contact our sales team at or by phone  +44 (0)1903 817970

For more information visit our dedicated web page .



The truth behind your 5-a-day

If you have ever lived in the UK, USA or Germany, there is a high chance you know this slogan very well. But what does it exactly mean? Why 5? Is there any truth to this?

The ‘5-a-day’ campaign was introduced in 2003 by the UK Department of Health as the minimum daily consumption of fruits and vegetables. Since then, its popularity skyrocketed and it’s now even the basis of the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme in the UK. The food guide ‘Balance of Good Health’ also supports this campaign as it fits with the recommendations of 425 g intake of fruits and vegetables per day.

But why do we need fruits and vegetables?

The most eye-opening truth behind this campaign is that most people fail to reach their minimum 5-a-day balanced intake of fruit and vegetables. A 2013 study showed that adults in the USA consume fruit 1.1 times per day and vegetables 1.6 times per day. Not consuming enough fruit and vegetables can result in serious vitamin and mineral deficiencies, digestive issues, disease risks, cardiovascular health problems and weight gain.

There are several beneficial reasons behind this campaign and the first has to do with decreasing risk of diseases, such as diabetes, heart diseases and obesity. The UCL studyalso reports that eating seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day reduces a risk of early death by 42%.

Eating enough fruit and vegetables also ensures your body remains healthy and energized throughout the day as they contain a heavy dose of vitamins and minerals.

As most fruit and veggies are quite low in calories, you won’t need to feel guilty for eating a few more than you’re supposed to.

When it comes to fruit and vegetables, as long as you watch your calorie and sugar intake it is very much the case of the more the merrier” state the NHS.

Your “5 a day” around the world

  • The Netherlands – 2 ounces of vegetables and 2 pieces of fruit
  • Germany – 3 vegetables (400 g total) and 2 pieces of fruit (250 g total)
  • Slovakia – minimum of 400 g fruit and vegetables
  • Austria – 5 servings of fruit and vegetables, or ≥400 g
  • Finland – 400 g fruit and vegetables, revised to 500 g from the 23rd Jan 2014
  • Ireland – 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables
  • Brazil – 3 portions of fruit, 3 of vegetables/legumes, and 1 of beans
  • Australia – 5-6 x 75 g servings of vegetables, 2 x 150 g fruit


Daily consumption of fizzy drinks could raise risk of cancer

According to a study conducted by the Consumer Reports on the effect of caramel colouring used in soft drinks, the daily consumption of fizzy drinks is more dangerous than we thought.

The chemical process that takes place with the manufacturing of caramel colouring produces a carcinogen that could be raising the risk of cancer, suggests an analyst.

The laboratory tests on 11 different soft drinks revealed that one can a day could be enough to expose a consumer to potentially cancer-causing levels of the chemical 4-MeI, which is short for 4-methylimidazole. Surprisingly however, the levels of 4-MeI varied in samples of the same type of fizzy drinks. Tyler Smith, the lead author of the Johns Hopkins study, the team that led the Consumer Reports researchers, said that “For example, in diet drinks, certain samples had higher or more variable levels of the compound, while other samples had very low concentrations”.





C-section baby boom as parents rush to give birth before Lunar New Year

Hong KongDoctors in Hong Kong and Singapore are witnessing a “baby boom” as pregnant women rush to give birth by caesarean section ahead of the Lunar New Year.

The trend – as parents try to give their children an auspicious start in life or to avoid being stuck in hospital during the holidays – has prompted insurance companies to double their fees or even halt some maternity policies.

Tradition dictates, according to some fortune tellers, that babies born in the Year of the Horse are more vigorous than those born in the Year of the Goat, which begins on Thursday. Well-known Hong Kong fortune teller Mak Ling-ling said some parents were keen to have their babies early in order for their “luckier” offspring to collect lai see – cash gifts given over Lunar New Year  – from their relatives. READ MORE  HERE >


Breath test for Parkinson’s disease

Experts believe that a simple breath test could help doctors detect and diagnose Parkinson’s disease.

The test looks for a unique signature of chemicals in exhaled breath.
Small studies in volunteers have begun and early findings suggest the test can identify those with the debilitating brain condition.
Larger trials are now planned to see if it could truly be a useful test, particularly for picking up Parkinson’s in its earliest stages.
Currently, no test can conclusively show that a person has Parkinson’s.

Instead, doctors reach a diagnosis based on a person’s symptoms and test results – such as brain scans to rule out other diseases.
At this stage, Parkinson’s may already be fairly advanced.
Identifying it earlier would be beneficial because it would mean treatment could be given sooner.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive condition where there is gradual loss of nerve cells from the brain.

And it is thought that this degradation leaves a chemical footprint in the body that could potentially be used in diagnostic tests.

Scientists have been exploring different ways of finding such biomarkers, including looking in blood, spinal fluid, and exhaled breath.

The breath test looks for traces of volatile organic compounds or VOCs in the air we exhale.

In a small trial in Israel with 57 people, some with Parkinson’s and some without, the test could identify the individuals with Parkinson’s by looking for distinctive patterns of VOCs.

It also appeared to distinguish between different sub-types of the disease based on the presence and quantity of different VOCs.

The charity Parkinson’s UK and experts at the University of Cambridge were intrigued by these early findings and are now setting out to do a bigger study involving 200 volunteers from England.

Dr Simon Stott, who is part of this UK team and will be working alongside the scientists from the Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa, said: “We would like to find biomarkers that can identify patients early.

“A breath test would be really appealing because it’s non-invasive, non-painful and can be done in seconds.

“While it wouldn’t replace what doctors already do, it could be a useful diagnostic tool to help them.”

The biggest hope is that there may be molecules in the breath of people with Parkinson’s which throw up new options for drug targets.

The researchers say they have many years of work ahead of them before they will know if the test can be used in clinics.

BBC News

Babies with frequent eye movement could be a clue to autism

Frequent eye movements in babies could be a clue to whether they will develop an autism spectrum disorder, a Medical Research Council study suggests.

Using eye-tracking technology, researchers measured 100 six-month-old babies looking at a static image.

Those later diagnosed with ASD moved their eyes around more often, which could be a cause of learning problems.

BBC News