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Medical Repatriation by Ground Ambulance

The inexpensive alternative to short-distance ambulance flights: the entire repatriation via ground ambulance

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Medical Repatriation by Ground Ambulance

Auslandsrückholung im Krankenwagen

For medical repatriations from abroad we differentiate between two possible uses for ground ambulances and emergency vehicles. Firstly, we offer complete medical repatriations in ground ambulances for short journeys, depending on the condition of the patient. We are happy to check at any time, at no cost to you, whether this option is suitable for your loved one. Secondly, as part of our bed-to-bed service, we use various ambulance vehicles as a necessary complement to a repatriation in an ambulance aircraft or a repatriation in a scheduled airliner.

Ambulance aircraft or ground ambulance

The wellbeing of our patients is always our highest priority. Therefore, we only offer complete medical repatriations in ground ambulances if it is medically and economically advisable. Our medical team makes the decision about whether this form of repatriation is feasible. The decision depends, among other things, on the exact diagnosis of the patient, their current state of health, the distance to be travelled and the particular route.

Due to their critical condition, intensive care patients are generally transported by ambulance aircraft or ambulance helicopter. For patients with uncomplicated illnesses, a patient transport in a ground ambulance can be considered for short distances. But even in such cases, we assess whether, for medical reasons, a ground ambulance or an aircraft should be used.

Risks when using ground ambulances

The use of an ambulance vehicle can be more economical for longer journeys. But due to the various possible risks of a long ambulance journey for the patient, this mode of transport is not usually advisable from a medical point of view.

It is important to remember that journey times are much longer by ambulance vehicle. Ambulance aircraft take about two to three hours to return the patient to their home country using the usual routes within Europe. An emergency vehicle would usually take a full day, or even longer, to cover the same distance. Unpredictable traffic jams or accidents could cause further delays to the return journey in an ambulance vehicle. Rest stops, access to toilets and meal breaks are only possible when a service station is in close proximity.  

If any health complications arose while travelling in the ambulance abroad, a local hospital would have to be found as soon as possible. As a result, the patient would not be returning to the UK as planned. Instead, he or she would be transferred to a local hospital, where, depending on the region, the medical care might have inadequacies, just as in the hospital at the start of the repatriation journey.

From a purely medical point of view, the transport of patients aboard an ambulance aircraft is often preferable to using ground ambulances. Ambulance aircraft are much faster, safer and more flexible to deploy. They also allow several companions to travel with the patient, depending on the type of aircraft used. When repatriating a patient from abroad to the UK in a ground ambulance, a ferry or the channel tunnel will need to be used, which would prolong the travel time.

If you wish to plan a medical repatriation solely via ambulance, you can get advice from our repatriation service at any time. Taking into account important information such as the condition of the patient, the distance to be travelled and the number of accompanying persons, our team will quickly find the most suitable solution for you.

Ground ambulance as part of our bed-to-bed service

As part of our bed-to-bed service, the transport of patients to and from the aircraft in a ground ambulance or emergency vehicle is a necessary and medically safe solution. The patient is picked up by a medical team, either from their home or hospital bed, and is taken to the airport. The ambulance aircraft will already be waiting for them on the tarmac. Thanks to a special transport stretcher, the patient is then transferred from the ambulance to the plane without having to move.

In most cases it is possible to bring along at least one companion in the ground ambulance and ambulance aircraft. This way, the friend or relative can be close to the patient during the entire journey and can provide support. Often, the passport checks and security checks can be done directly on the tarmac and not in the main terminal, as is usually the case.

The ambulance will be waiting for the patient at the destination airport to take them to the desired hospital without delay. Of course, we take care of all the organisation, communication and registration procedures at the airport and the hospital.

Any further questions?

You will find detailed information on medical repatriations by ambulance vehicle, as well as the general procedures involved in a medical repatriation, in our FAQ.

Contact us now about your medical repatriation

For a free consultation or a no-obligation quotation for your required service, please do not hesitate to contact our 24-hour service at any time. Our reliable, experienced team will be happy to assist you. Here's how to contact us: