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Aug 24th 2010 5:23PM Good to see an article on the importance of medical assistance and evacuation. However, if you have a heart attack in Mozambique or for that matter 100 miles from home, are you really going to be the best person to decide to which hospital you should be taken? Do you have that knowledge? Think of it this way, even physicians get referrals from other physicians for their patients...they don't ask the patient directly to provide expert advice. Should you need to be evacuated due to a serious medical emergency, you are likely not the best person to make the decision about where you should be taken for care, worse yet you may be unable to make that choice. Rather, it may be best to let doctors who are experts in the strengths and weaknesses of the healthcare systems around the world determine where you should be treated.
Also, keep in mind, the air ambulance expense is only a component of the evacuation process. If you are treated at an inadequate facility, getting you to where you chose is the least of your problems. First and foremost is that you get the right treatment at the location that is closest and best able to provide the appropriate level of medical care. Then, after successful stabilization and/or treatment, you can be safely returned home, which is part of the repatriation benefit that should go hand in hand with a quality evacuation service. Finally, as a word of advice, always read the fine print and understand the conditions that determine when you get the choice. When you do, some may find that the promises and the reality don't always align.
As the world's leading international healthcare, medical assistance, and security services company, International SOS (www.internationalsos.com), has over 6,000 employees of which more than 900 are full-time physicians who work to provide assistance services to millions of travelers and their families, as well as thousands of caregivers. International SOS conducted more than 16,000 medical evacuations in 2008 and has an established, real-time network of qualified providers all around the globe, including Mozambique.