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Medical repatriation from the USA

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Medical repatriation from the USA

New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, the historic Route 66, the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, the Superbowl, the Oscars and so many picturesque national parks: surely no other country in the world offers as many opportunities for a holiday as the USA? Due to the economic importance of the country with its numerous multinational corporations, it also attracts many business travellers. As such, the US receives a huge number of visitors from overseas every year.

However, the problems associated with the American healthcare system are just as famous as its many tourist attractions. When international visitors to the USA need extensive and emergency medical attention, possibly due to an accident or a sudden serious illness, many express the wish for rapid medically supervised transport from the USA back to their home country.

Sights in the USA

The healthcare system in the USA

There is no question that high-quality medical treatment, which certainly meets international standards, is available all over the US. However, the statutory national health insurance of most international travellers does not cover treatment in the US. Since many medical treatments in the US are very expensive, most travel health insurance policies valid for the US are not cheap!

For this reason, some international travellers do not take out travel health insurance when visiting the US. Even when they do have travel insurance, the insurance company can sometimes refuse to pay the medical costs because of a previous illness, or an injury obtained while engaging in high-risk activities like skiing, climbing, or rafting. Moreover, being treated in the US can be extremely expensive. In such cases, medical repatriation from the USA with subsequent follow-up treatment in a hospital in your home country can be more cost-effective.

Other factors also indicate that medical repatriation may be preferable. For instance, being in a hospital abroad can lead to you feeling uncomfortable. The fact that friends and family are so far away can be worrying for you and this can slow down your recovery.

Your UK Medical Repatriation

Due to the sheer size of the USA, and the vast distances to be covered, a patient transfer by aircraft is usually the only option in the case of a medical emergency. However, there are several choices available, depending on your health status. 

Ambulance jet

If you are fundamentally fit to fly, medical repatriation on board an ambulance jet is always an option. This is the fastest and safest way for you to return home. It is quick because our air ambulances are on standby worldwide and can often be ready to fly on the same or the next day. Considering that you and your companions are usually the only passengers onboard, the time of departure can be tailored exactly according to your needs and can therefore be arranged as soon as required.

Air ambulances are safe due to the combination of cutting-edge equipment and an experienced medical staff. The medical equipment onboard is comparable to that in a modern intensive care unit and thus allows for comprehensive care even for seriously ill patients. Also, for every flight, the equipment can be extended according to your medical needs. An experienced flight doctor and the medical crew are available to take care of you throughout the flight and can intervene to provide assistance at any time.

Your transfer in an airliner – lying down

If your health condition allows it and a lead time of one to two days is acceptable, your transport from the USA in a scheduled airliner can be possible. In case you cannot sit upright for the duration of the flight, the journey can be made lying down on a patient stretcher bed. These special stretcher beds are separated from the rest of the passenger cabin by a screen so that your privacy is maintained. A doctor or paramedic will accompany and remain close by while you are flying. Therefore, medical assistance can be given whenever needed.

The installation of a patient stretcher bed is usually only considered for medium and long-haul flights. Accordingly, the option of a patient repatriation lying down aboard a commercial plane is only practical for flights between major airports. If your repatriation is to start from a more remote area of the US, the feasibility of this air ambulance option must be assessed for your case.

Your transfer in an airliner – seated

If you can fly in a seated position, a medically accompanied repatriation on board a scheduled airliner is also an option. Here, a doctor or paramedic accompanies and constantly monitors you. To ensure that you experience as little stress as possible, especially if you are flying long distance and, at the same time, to give the medical escort as much freedom of movement and space to provide treatment as possible, seated patient transfers usually take place in business class. Just as is the case for a repatriation involving a medical bed, a lead time of one to two days is needed to clarify whether the patient can fly and arrange everything with the airline.

What is the cost of patient transport from the USA?

The exact cost of repatriating someone from the USA depends on many factors and it is individually calculated for your case. Fundamentally, medical repatriation aboard a scheduled airliner will be cheaper than in an ambulance jet. However, due to the size of the US, the exact location where you are staying also plays a role. Additional factors include the urgency of the request, the number of accompanying persons and your exact health status. We will be happy to provide you with an individual quotation for your case.

Bed to bed patient transport service

We offer a bed-to-bed service for your medical repatriation as well: a ground ambulance or emergency vehicle will pick you up from your location and will take you safely to the airport. From there, the medically accompanied flight home will begin. At the destination airport, another ground ambulance will be waiting for you and will take you either to the destination hospital or to your home. As we are a one-stop-shop for all these services, we can coordinate the pickup and flight departure times efficiently. This way, there are no unnecessary waiting times, and you will be transported as quickly and safely as possible.

Contact us now about your medical repatriation

Our experienced team can be relied upon to organise your medical repatriation from the USA via our air ambulance service. Our 24-hour service is available around the clock, and we will advise you free of charge. We are happy to provide you with a non-binding quotation upon request. Please contact us:

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