How a medical evacuation / repatriation is organized?

(Last Updated On: June 10, 2013)

Most international health plans offer (in option or not) a “24/24 helpline“, which will organize a “medical evacuation” or “repatriation” in case of an emergency. “Repatriation” gives the insured the opportunity to be transfered to his country of origin when “evacuation” usually means “to the nearest appropriate place”.

It is true that in case of an emergency, the insured, as his family, generally prefer the patient to be “back home”!  But don’t forget the purpose of this guarantee is first of all to save a life when it is not possible locally. Does your plan offer medical evacuation or “repatriation”?

In all cases and if necessary, two doctors will coordinate the evacuation: the one in charge of the patient locally and the one of the “assistance company” (assister). Therefore, the insured chooses neither the time, nor the conditions for intervention! This intervention, once decided, will be on regular scheduled flight (usually in business class and with a doctor detached for travel) or air ambulance if necessary.

It is imperative to follow the procedure and not decide or finance anything without having the insurer’s consent. All international helatih plans with 24/24 emergency service include repatriation of the body in case of death and, sometimes, the return of the insured in case of illness or death of a loved one in home country.