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Medical Repatriation

What is Medical Repatriation?

Medical repatriation is how you can return to your home country in order to receive, or while receiving, necessary medical care.

Travelers and those living abroad often find themselves in need of medical assistance to travel back to their home country.  Medical repatriation provides a combination of medical assistance and transportation to enable a citizen to return to their home country from abroad.

Global Air Ambulance provides medical repatriation service from anywhere in the world to anywhere else in the world 365 days of the year.  We have safely transported over 200,000 patients worldwide.

Call or email Global Air Ambulance at 800-948-1220 and our case managers will promptly discuss with you all options for safely and quickly repatriating your love one home.  In many cases, your patient can be repatriated within 24 hours of your first call.

We provide the following medical repatriation services:

  • Medical repatriation services aboard air ambulances
  • Evacuations and repatriations on commercial airline stretchers
  • Repatriation medical escorts aboard commercial airlines
  • International cross-border medical repatriations via ground ambulance
  • Medical companions to travel with unaccompanied minors
  • Psychiatric nurses to travel and assist psychiatric patients
  • Medical staff to travel with your patient on chartered flights
  • Chartered, medically assisted repatriation and evacuation for large parties
  • Government assistance for medical repatriation
  • Medical repatriations of undocumented citizens
  • Repatriation of mortal remains

Your patient’s medical needs, required timing, and financial limitations will determine which of our services are viable for your patient.

Medical Repatriation Services

Global Air Ambulance provides experts in Travel Medicine:

  • Doctors
  • Registered nurses
  • ACLS Paramedics
  • Critical care respiratory therapists
  • Neonate and pediatric medical teams
  • Psychiatric nurses, and other medical specialties

We combine these with state-of-the-art medical equipment and medicines and the most cost-effective modes of transport to meet our clients’ needs:

  • Air ambulances – Gulfstreams and LearJets regulated by FAA specifically for air ambulance transport
  • Charter aircraft – large and midsize international jets
  • International Commercial airline stretchers and business class seats
  • Short range helicopters
  • International, cross-border ground ambulances

Difference Between Medical Repatriation and Medical Evacuation

Medical evacuation differs from medical repatriation in that the situation is more urgent.  The patient may require evacuation because the location where the patient is may not have the medical capabilities needed for their medical emergency.  The location may also have been hit with a natural disaster, civil unrest or war, creating a risk that medical care may quickly become unavailable.

Because of risks to traveling and working overseas, government agencies, like the U.S State Department, often require that work visa expats working overseas purchase Medical Repatriation and Medical Evacuation Insurance.

For Instance, the State Department requires all J Visa holders to purchase at least $50,000 USD in emergency repatriation and medical evacuation insurance.  Depending on your situation, Global Air Ambulance recommends much more than the minimum requirements mandated by the medical repatriation authorities.  Medical repatriation aboard a medical jet from Asia to the United States could cost $150,000 and from Europe as much as $100,000.   Medical evacuation could cost even more.

In these situations, transfers can be expedited at higher costs.  For instance, timing can be accelerated by involving two aircraft one to begin the trip quickly, and another to meet the patient halfway to take over care.  That same Asia trip, with wing-to-wing transfers may cost an additional $50,000.

Medical evacuation costs can be mitigated by bringing the patient to a closer country than the country of origin if that country has the medical capability and safety to meet the needs of the patient.  However, since the cost of insurance does not increase drastically with higher amounts of medical repatriation and medical evacuation insurance coverage, be sure to purchase the right dollar value of insurance for a complete medical repatriation to the country of origin.

Reasons to use Global Air Ambulance for Medical Repatriation 

International medical repatriation and evacuation requires international expertise, long range medical capability and long-range assets that most companies do not have.  Global Air Ambulance has transported more than 200,000 patients worldwide during the past 30 years.  You can rest assured that we have the know how to quickly and safely evacuate your patient and repatriate them to your country of origin.

Issues that can increase the cost and timing of medical repatriations include obtaining visas, flight permits, and managing specific COVID concerns of both the country of departure and the country of arrival.  Because of the high volume of international transports both by air ambulance and by commercial airline, Global Air Ambulance is an expert at expediting procedures to minimize both upfront time and costs.

The additional cost of COVID isolation pods and COVID training can be an issue for some air ambulance companies.  Global Air Ambulance utilizes multiple sizes of isopods and utilizes multiple COVID teams to ensure that availability is not an issue for a timely medical repatriation.

Some medical conditions cause patients to be transported at sea level pressure, which increases the fuel required to transport and increase the fuel stops required as well.  In some cases, LearJets simply do not have the long-range capacity to manage sea level pressure transports.  Global Air Ambulance utilizes both LearJets and longer range Gulfstream jets so no conditions are outside of the range of capabilities.

From years of experience and number of patients safely repatriated to range of equipment and aircraft and breadth of services offered, Global Air Ambulance is uniquely qualified to manage your medical repatriation and evacuation needs.  Call 800-948-1220 to discuss your patient with our case managers now.

Medical Repatriation and Evacuation Insurance

If you have already experienced a medical emergency requiring medical evacuation or repatriation, it is too late to buy insurance to cover this emergency.  Call Global Air Ambulance at 800-948-1220 and we will discuss the most cost-effective medical transport options for your situation.  However, if you are about to embark on an overseas journey to travel or work abroad, we do suggest that you purchase medical repatriation and evacuation insurance.

Medical Repatriation and Evacuation insurance plans will provide a financial point of contact between your patient, the hospital, and medical transport companies like Global Air Ambulance.  We provide the logistical and medical point of contact. Travel insurance plans provide medical evacuation to the nearest hospital that can provide adequate care and then repatriation to the country of origin once the patient is stabilized.

With upgraded medical evacuation plans that include hospital of choice options, you can choose the destination hospital to which you would like to be transported. You can also choose the destination of repatriation.  If you find that the insurance company is unable to timely secure a medical repatriation company, please immediately call Global Air Ambulance.  We can help. 

Global Air Ambulance works with a variety of Medical Repatriation and Evacuation Insurance companies.  While we do not make recommendations regarding insurers, we have listed for your convenience some of the insurers below.  

  • AIG Travel Guard
  • Arch RoamRight
  • Axa Assistance US
  • Bershire Hathaway Travel Protection
  • Crum and Forster TravelInsured
  • Nationwide

Repatriation of Remains

Most Medical Repatriation and Evacuation insurance companies also have Repatriation of Remains coverage.

In the solemn event that a loved one passes away overseas, Global Air Ambulance can assist you in transporting their mortal remains back home.

Some religions require immediate transfer of remains to meet strict burial requirements.  Please call 800-948-1220 to discuss options in that case.

Countries have differing requirements for repatriation of remains.  In the case of U.S. Citizens, U.S. law requires the following documents before remains can be transported: Consular mortuary certificate, affidavit of local funeral director, and transit permit.  Additionally, in many cases, the body must either be embalmed or be accompanied by a non-communicable certificate for transport and a travel casket and casing must be utilized.

US Government Assistance for Medical Repatriation

When a U.S. citizen cannot afford Medical Repatriation from a foreign country, the U.S. Repatriation Program may provide temporary assistance.  The Program assists citizens with loans that then must be paid back to the federal government. 

While the program is administered by the Office of Refugee Resettlement within the Administration for Children and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services for assistance, U.S. citizens must contact the U.S. consulate in the country where they are located. 

The Consulate will assist those citizens that lack resources and are returning to the United States because of poverty, illness, war, or other similar situation and patients that suffer from mental illness. While assistance is temporary, up to 90 days, it may include medical care, counseling, shelter, and transportation.

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