Emergency medical repatriation – even without a medical certificate!

When sudden illness or an accident on holiday result in hospitalisation abroad many patients want to go back home as soon as possible. In emergency cases, when risks are high and local care is perhaps substandard, the need for a repatriation is clear. But even in non-urgent cases, people often prefer to recover at home. Insurance companies and repatriation providers can sometimes require that certain conditions be met, before they agree to cover or carry out a medical repatriation. You might need a certificate proving medical necessity. But what if the local hospital refuse to provide a medical certificate? How can you get home?

Emergency medical repatriation

Repatriation from Mallorca

80-year-old Marie (not her real name) from Germany was holidaying in Mallorca, when she was diagnosed with severe pneumonia. She wanted to go home as soon as possible so she could recover near her family.

Her daughter contacted a large national repatriation service to try and arrange a transport home. At first everything seemed in order, but then the bad news came: repatriation was only possible after 14 days in hospital and with a statement of medical necessity. Marie and her family were crushed and the stress and uncertainty about the return journey began to take their toll on Marie’s health.

Worried about her mother’s worsening condition, Marie’s daughter went back online and found our team. When she contacted us and told us about her situation, we sprang into action. The same day one of our long distance road ambulances left for Mallorca to collect Marie. The team brought an extra large supply of oxygen to ensure a speedy and safe return journey. Within 48 hours after the first contact, Marie was back in her hometown where she could start her recovery.

Repatriation Policies

None of us go abroad thinking that we might need a medical transport to come back home. Some might even doubt the necessity of the extra expense that travel insurance creates. At EMS we advise that you always take out travel insurance and check the policy carefully as it relates to repatriation. Different insurers have different policies with different conditions. To avoid nasty surprises, make sure you know what you are covered for before you leave on holiday – especially if you have a preexisting condition or are otherwise considered at-risk.

Medical repatriation – even without a certificate.

Whether the situation in urgent or non-urgent, at EMS we understand the desire patients and their families feel, to go back home as soon as possible. That’s why we will try to help even if you don’t have a medical certificate – and even if you don’t have health insurance. Years of experience have taught us that repatriation is almost always possible. We are here to help you find a way home be it by road ambulance, private air ambulance or with a medical escort on a commercial flight.


If you would like to talk through your situation and find out about your options, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Alternatively, you can fill out our contact form to request a free quote – without any obligation – to get a clearer picture of what’s involved.

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