As one might expect, managing medical evacuations on a global basis is not without its challenges.
Insurance companies have to overcome a range of potential obstacles such as failing, archaic or sometimes non-existent communication infrastructure, restricted air space, the impact of weather, or even political or rebel unrest. However, global providers are well prepared for these kinds of challenges and experience and determination are a formidable combination.
We always strive to find the nearest medical centre but they may not always have the most suitable facilities. For example, a member that recently needed medical evacuation was located in Papua New Guinea, but while the capital Port Moresby was nearby, the hospital did not have the required medical facilities. Instead we had to evacuate the member to Cairns in Australia which was the nearest centre of excellence.
To evacuate a member, we need a copy of their passport plus, where required, a visa or permit for the country to which they will be moved. Visa’s can be difficult to obtain, particularly given the very tight deadlines to which we are operating, but with a strong network of medical partners located all over the world, we are always able to assist the member.
To apply for an emergency visa, the following items are needed:
Following the application, there are two different scenarios that may occur:
We will have the experience, local partners, knowledge and emergency procedures in place to deal with the VISA application on behalf of the client, if support is needed.
Technology has played a significant role in helping us to overcome many challenges, increasing the survival rates during evacuations. Advances in technology can be seen at every stage of the evacuation process, from communication, to portable medical equipment, to the air ambulance themselves, where technology allows them to fly at altitudes and speeds that minimise the risk of medical deterioration.