International Air Ambulance
Worldwide Air Medical Flights
If your loved one has traveled abroad and now is in need of immediate medical evacuation, Global Air Ambulance is uniquely qualified to bring them home. Patient transports are a complex endeavor and international patient flights add a level of complexity that is best managed by a company like Global Air Ambulance. Global Air Ambulance has safely transported over 200,000 patients worldwide in the past 30 years with a 100% safety record, more than any other air ambulance company. Call 800-948-1220 and we can discuss your patient with our case manager now.
Global Air Ambulance has transferred patients from every country and every continent, even from countries that have been at war or conflict. Our extensive network of international assistance teams enables us to quickly manage a safe, reliable patient transfer, potentially saving hours or days needed for your critical care patient. Global Air Ambulance has transferred patients from every country and every continent, even from countries that have been at war or conflict. Our extensive network of international assistance teams enables us to quickly manage a safe, reliable patient transfer, potentially saving hours or days needed for your critical care patient.
COVID-19 adds additional constraints, and every country has their own permit, quarantine, and medical records requirements. Yet, Global Air Ambulance has transferred COVID patients every week since the pandemic began and is a leader in managing safe environments for patients, passengers and crew.
With a range of aircraft options, medical team options, and transport options, Global Air Ambulance will assist you in choosing the right patient transfer solution that meets your timing and financial constraints. Our case managers are available now to assist you at 800-948-1220.
International Transport Options
International Air Ambulance:
The fastest option to evacuate a patient is through international air ambulance. Within hours of contracting our air ambulance services, a medical jet is on its way to your patient’s city. The air ambulance medical team will visit and assess your patient upon arrival. After the crew completes a mandatory rest period, they will return to your patient by ambulance to take patient and passengers to the ambulance jet parked at a private airport terminal close by. Customs and immigration will meet you there, and shortly after, the medical flight will begin taking you to your destination.
International Airline Medical Stretcher Patient Transport:
For those patients flying internationally that have more time, airline medical stretcher is an option that can support critical care patients at sometimes only half the cost of private air ambulance. While airline stretchers are not available within the United States, North and South America, airline medical stretcher transfers can provide extensive ICU medical life support services to and from other continents of the world, including Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and Africa. At the start of an international airline medical stretcher patient transport, the international patient transfer team will bring your patient to the commercial airport by ambulance. The team will place the patient on a stretcher surrounded by a curtain in the rear of the commercial airline and connect monitoring equipment and medicines. From there, they will manage your patient’s care as they fly to the destination airport. Upon arrival, an ambulance will be waiting to take them to the receiving hospital.
International Airline Medical Escort:
Many patients can be transferred by international airline medical escort at a fraction of the cost of air ambulance. With this option, a flight RN nurse will come to the patient by wheelchair van and ride with them in the van to the commercial airport. Upon arriving at the airport, the flight RN nurse will wheelchair the patient through the airport to a waiting business class seat on a commercial airline. The seat can be lowered to allow the patient to lie flat and the nurse can provide the patient basic medical care and comfort care while traveling to their destination country. Upon arrival, the nurse will travel with the patient by wheelchair van to their destination, which can be a hospital, nursing home, long term care facility, hotel or residence.
Cross Border Ground Ambulance:
International patient transfers across borders can be accomplished by ground ambulance transport. Some countries permit ambulances from neighboring countries to cross. Others require a handoff between ambulances at the border. Global Air Ambulance conducts these types of transfers regularly for a variety of reasons.
Cross border transfers can be done to move a patient out of an unsafe country into one relatively safer to allow an international air ambulance or international airline medical escort to be safely conducted. Sometimes, border transfers are done simply to transfer a patient to the closest international airport. Other cross border international ambulance transfers are done this is the safest and least costly option for short distances.
Documentation and COVID tests are required for cross border international ground ambulance transports. Global Air Ambulance can assist your patient with this cost effective, safe, and fast type of transport. Call us today at 800-948-1220 to discuss if this option best meets your international patient transfer need.
What is the cost of International Air Ambulance?
Cost for international air ambulance services vary widely depending on the type of service, type of aircraft, distance between sending and receiving locations, countries traveled to and countries traversed, as well as the patient’s medical condition and how quickly the patient must be medically evacuated.
Costs include fuel charges, landing fees, flyover permits, costs per mile, medical equipment and medicines, oxygen, international fees, international handlers, airport taxes, and other costs associated with international medical flights.
Costs from Europe to New York, as an example can range from $15,000 to $35,000 for international airline medical escorts, $35,000 to $75,000 for international airline medical stretcher transports, and $50,000 to over $100,000 for international air ambulance. With one call to our case managers, we can collect the information to quickly return to you an exact quote for all services that can safely repatriate your international patient.
Will Medicaid or Medicare pay for International Air Ambulance?
Unfortunately, Medicare, Medicaid, and other insurances such as Tri-Care, that follow Medicare guidelines, almost never pay for international air ambulance, international medical commercial flights or other types of international patient transfers.
Medicare, as an example, rarely even pays for long distance domestic patient transfers, only paying if the distance to the receiving location is the CLOSEST distance to one that has adequate capability to care for the patient. When it comes to international transfers, Medicare only approves patient transfers in one unique case. When a patient has had an accident or other emergency and the closest hospital is across an international border, in that rare instance, Medicare will pay.
In all other cases, international patient transfers are an out of pocket expense or, hopefully, an expense covered by private insurance. Our insurance team at Global Air Ambulance can assist you with insurance claims. Call now to discuss your insurance issues at 800-948-1220.
When should you Consider International Air Ambulance Services?
If a patient finds themselves in a foreign country requiring medical care, serious conditions may require medical repatriation, medical evacuation by air ambulance, or other international medical flight transportation service for several reasons.
Every medical emergency is unique with its own set of issues. Medical emergencies in foreign countries add additional complexity that most often requires the assistance of an international medical transport specialist like Global Air Ambulance.
While most first world countries offer excellent medical services, many times medical treatment is not quickly available. An international medical transfer to a location that can provide the service the patient needs as quickly as possible should be considered.
Often, the local medical treatment may be very costly or not covered by the patient’s medical insurance, or the treatment may be considered experimental and not be permitted. Moving a patient to a location where the treatment is covered by their insurance, or where access to a higher level of care is immediately available, should be considered.
Sometimes, foreign medical treatment is simply much too stressful to the patient and and they urgently want to be home. If a patient has a medical emergency out of their home country, language barriers and lack of family support can be extremely distressing. That support can be instrumental in helping a patient during a long recovery. And, for those patients needing palliative care, going back to their home country gives meaning in their final days.
In second or third world countries, some medical treatments do not exist at all. In these cases, emergency medical evacuations are needed to save a patient’s life. Even if patient transfer to a higher level of care is high risk, the risk of leaving them in their situation could mean a high probability of not surviving. If you find yourself in this situation, please immediately call Global Air Ambulance and we will provide you the information you need to help determine best options for this personal and difficult decision.
For many reasons, patients consider international air ambulance and other forms of international medical flights. Global Air Ambulance is experienced in dealing with all of these very important reasons and we are here to help your international patient transfer 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Call our case managers at 800-948-1220 and receive immediate guidance for your patient’s international medical transport need.