There has been no shortage of media coverage concerning the plight of Canadian travelers stranded in other parts of the world with either illness or injury. Unless you’ve gone through the experience, you can’t possibly imagine how overwhelming these situations can be. The challenges run anywhere from enduring the complications of language barriers to financial constraints but most of all, needing someone to talk to who has the knowledge and experience to help with travel needs and decision making. “Going it alone” in a complex medical situation really isn’t a good idea because it often creates more complications and delays says Gail Courneyea Registered Nurse and Aeromedical Consultant.
Although many travelers tend not to be prepared for a medical crisis away from home, you should find comfort in knowing that professional help is only one phone call away from anywhere in the world, regardless of time zones.
With resources to translate in over 200 languages, it is absolutely essential to understand what is going on medically. Moving forward with planning when and how you can be transported home will remove some worry out of the equation.
Medical transportation such as Air Ambulances can be cost prohibitive for many and it is essential to select appropriate and qualified service providers. In the event finances are at issue, you should know assistance in the form of a loan may be available. A charity whose mission is to provide monies towards medical transportation for those in need might also be approached. The objective is to save critical time, international medical costs, and get the patient home safely.
Global 911 International works with a network of health care, aviation professionals and airlines worldwide. These relationships are imperative when combining travel needs, with a receiving hospital and time is critical.
The best way you can help yourself is to consider a “what if” event and prepare a backup plan before your health is unexpectedly compromised. By joining the annual HALO MEDCARD PROGRAM your vital information, safely stored in an EMR system, will expedite your care and repatriation if necessary. With no additional cost or time constraints, you can consult with an Aeromedical Consultant who will be your advocate.
Lots to consider! Remember – your most important call will be your first!
By Gail Courneyea, Angels of Flight Canada Inc.