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Ambulance flights for people in need of care

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Ambulance flights for people in need of care

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Especially in old age, but also after a serious illness, some people may no longer be able to manage their daily lives on their own and may require help. Depending on the degree to which their independence is impaired, different types of assistance may be needed. Some people may only need minimal support, such as help with cleaning or household chores. However, others may require 24-hour care.


People are defined as being in need of care if they need the help of a carer for at least six months. If this is the case, an application for nursing care may be made in order to receive financial support from your health insurer. For this application, the level of care that the patient needs to receive must be determined in advance. This depends on how much support is needed. There are five levels of care, from care level 1 (low impairment of independence) to level 5 (need for a very high level of assistance).

In many cases, relatives want to take care of the patients themselves or place them in a nursing home nearby . A gentle, patient-friendly mode of transport is essential for the patient’s journey to their family’s home or to the nursing home, in order not to place further strain on the vulnerable person.

Fast and safe transfer of patients in need of care

There are usually two options for the safe transfer of persons in need of care: an air ambulance flight or a medically accompanied flight in a scheduled aircraft. Transporting such patients by helicopter or ground ambulance is not advisable. Depending on the route, a trip in an ambulance can be very stressful. Unpredictable traffic hold-ups and areas of road damage can slow down the patient transport unnecessarily and put additional strain on the patient.

Helicopters are only suitable for very short distances due to their limited range. The special advantage that helicopters have, i.e. that they can land on small landing sites or helipads, such as those at hospitals, is not relevant here as people in need of care do not usually have to be transferred to a hospital. However, both means of transport can well be used to take the patient from the airport to their destination.

Medically accompanied transport in a scheduled airliner

A scheduled aircraft is a good option for transporting a person who is largely independent. Passengers in need of care can be transported lying down or seated, as they wish. If the patient is transported lying down, a curtain or screen ensures their privacy during the flight. This allows the patient to travel comfortably and safely even in a scheduled aircraft. Medical staff accompany the patient throughout the entire journey and can provide medical assistance in an emergency.

If relatives want to accompany their family member during the flight, they can book seats nearby.

However, apart from all the advantages, please note that airlines generally require 1–2 days’ lead time for the preparation of a patient transport. Often, airlines do not carry out medically accompanied flights on short-haul routes, as there is not always enough time for the necessary modifications in the cabin. In addition, transporting a patient in a scheduled aircraft can only be done at the scheduled flight times, which makes short-notice transport impossible.

Using an ambulance aircraft, on the other hand, means the transport of the person in need of care can be organised at very short notice if necessary.

Travel quickly and safely in an ambulance aircraft

ambulance jet

People in need of care can be transported safely by ambulance aircraft. Thanks to the medical equipment on board, which is similar to an intensive care unit, the flight doctor can provide excellent medical assistance during the flight and give the patient the best possible care.

In contrast to a regular aircraft, the accompanying person can be at the patient’s side during the flight. Depending on the size of the aircraft, not one but several accompanying persons can often be accommodated in the cabin of the ambulance jet.

Often, long road journeys are not necessary if you are using an ambulance aircraft. Thanks to the aircraft’s smaller size, it can land at small airports. Thus, it is possible to take off and land directly near the pick-up location and the patient’s destination. We can arrange a shuttle service or taxi for the patient's short onward journey. If the patient requires continuous medical care, we will be happy to provide a state-of-the art ambulance or emergency vehicle.

Cost of an ambulance flight for a person needing care

We cannot give you a general rate for the cost of an ambulance flight for a person in need of care. Since each patient transport is an individual matter, the costs are different for each individual case. In order to calculate the costs, our ambulance flight experts need various details. These include:

  • the health status of the patient
  • the distance to be travelled
  • the number of accompanying persons
  • the need for further medical intervention or equipment.

Based on this information, we can calculate the price of the ambulance flight. We would be happy to discuss your individual case during a personal consultation and can then provide you with a non-binding quotation.

Who will cover the cost of transporting the patient?

ambulance flight costs

In Germany, the Pflegekasse (statutory care insurance fund) is responsible for all matters relating to the care, and thus also the transport, of patients in need of care. It is connected to the Krankenkasse (statutory health insurance fund) and is therefore the contact and cost bearer for all care-related activities. However, the care insurance fund usually only covers travel costs for simple journeys such as taxi rides, which do not exceed the monthly basic amount of €100.

The cost of an ambulance flight may, in some cases, be covered by the health insurance fund. However, the term ‘medically necessary’ is significant here. Normally, reimbursement of costs can be expected if the patient transport is medically necessary, i.e. if appropriate treatment is not possible in the patient's current location. However, with people who are in need of care this is generally not the case, as the patients are often transferred at their own request or at the request of their relatives and no immediate treatment is required.

Even if the health insurer refuses to reimburse the patient's transport costs, we can still organise your ambulance flight independently of any contractual cover.

Your safe ambulance flight with Medical Repatriation UK

Our experienced staff are well-versed in organising ambulance flights for patients in need of care: in order to relieve you of as much stress and effort as possible, we can also handle all the communication with the care home in addition to providing the appropriate means of transport. If an international ambulance flight is required, our international team will ensure clear and efficient communication.

Contact us now for your ambulance flight

Our 24-hour service is available to provide you with a free consultation or a non-binding estimate for your medical transport at any time – even for patients with cerebral oedema. Please do not hesitate to contact our experienced international team today: