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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 and so many other national parks, the Superbowl or the Oscars: surely no other country in the world offers so 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, so that the US receives a huge number of visitors from abroad every year.

However, when international visitors to the United States require substantial medical care, whether as the result of an accident or a sudden catastrophic illness, many express a desire for medically supervised transportation from the United States back to their home country.

Sights in the USA

The healthcare system in the USA, Key Challenges for travellers.

There is no question that high-quality medical treatment is available all over the US, which certainly meets international standards. However, the statutory national health insurance of most international travellers does not cover treatment in the US. As 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. Moreover, 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. If the entire medical treatment is carried out in the US, this can quickly lead to exorbitant costs. So, 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: being hospitalised abroad can lead to you feeling uncomfortable. The fact that friends and family are so far away can be worrying for you and can slow down your recovery.

Your UK Medical Repatriation from USA

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. Depending on your health status, however, there are several choices available.

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's fast because ambulance aircraft are on standby worldwide and can often be ready to fly on the same or the next day. Considering you and your companions are usually the only passengers on such flights, the time of departure can be tailored exactly to your needs and can therefore be as soon as required.

Ambulance jets are safe due to the combination of cutting-edge equipment and experienced medical staff. The medical equipment on board is comparable to that in a modern intensive care unit and thus allows comprehensive care even for seriously ill patients. Also, for every flight, the equipment can be further extended to match your health condition. An experienced flight doctor and the medical team take care of you throughout the flight and can intervene 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. If you cannot sit upright for the duration of the flight, the journey can be made lying on a so-called patient stretcher bed. These special stretcher beds are separated from the rest of the passenger cabin by a screen so that your privacy is preserved. A doctor or paramedic accompanies you on the flight and remains in proximity with you for the duration of the flight. Therefore, medical care 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 transport lying down aboard a scheduled airliner is only practical for flights between major airports. If your transport is to start from a more remote area of the US, the feasibility of this transport option must be checked 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 you during the flight and always monitors you. To cause you as little stress as possible on the long flight and, at the same time, to give the medic as much freedom of movement and space to provide treatment as possible, seated patient transfers usually take place in business class. Just like patient transports lying down, a lead time of one to two days is to be expected, which is needed to clarify the patient transport with the airline.

What is the cost of patient transport from the USA?

The exact cost of patient transport from the USA depends on many factors and it is individually calculated on a case by case basis. 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 organise your medical repatriation from bed to bed: 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 effectively 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 carefully as possible.

Contact us now about your medical repatriation

Our experienced team can be relied upon to organise your medical repatriation from the USA. 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:

  • By telephone: +44 (0) 20 3608 0483
  • By email:
  • Using our contact form