Medical repatriation from Spain: what’s the best way to get home for emergency treatment?

As the vaccinations roll out and COVID restrictions begin to lift across Europe, parts of the continent are starting to reopen to ex-pats, businesspeople and tourists.

Medical repatriation from Spain

And when it comes to post-pandemic travel, few places are likely to see as much activity as Spain in the coming months. During 2019, more than 83 million international travellers arrived in the country – an all-time high, putting Spain second only to France as the most-visited nation on the planet.

Second-home owners heading back to their apartments on the Costa del Sol or the Costa Blanca… Businesspeople arranging face-to-face meetings in Madrid and Barcelona… Holidaymakers from northern Europe hoping for a little sunshine and warmth in the Balearics (Mallorca, Palma, Ibiza…), or even further afield in the subtropical Canary Islands… As life begins to return to normal, a lot of people will be eager to add Spain to their destinations list.

Medical transport in an emergency

Let’s face it, medical emergencies aren’t the first thing we tend to think about when booking a flight abroad. But if the unexpected happens and you or a loved one were to fall ill, it’s important to know what options are available. Over the years, EMS Air Ambulance & Medical Repatriation has repatriated people from Spain for many different reasons, from emergency situations such as heart attacks, strokes and road accidents to occasions when a patient needed specialist care for a chronic condition, such as cancer or dementia. In circumstances like these, most people find they just want to get home for treatment – particularly when they’re dealing with unfamiliar hospitals and doctors who may not speak their language.

Critical illness in Spain – how EMS can get you home

The first thing to say is that we can act extremely quickly. You can speak to our service team immediately and get a price quotation usually within 60 minutes. Circumstances depending, our medical team could be at your bedside in Spain within 24 hours, with Spanish-speaking personnel if needed. There are three options for transport:

  • Air ambulance: the fastest way to get home – a private aeroplane equipped with an intensive care unit (ICU) for emergency treatment during travel
  • Road ambulance: a state-of-the-art ‘mobile treatment room’ capable of travelling several thousand kilometres overland
  • Medical escort: often the most cost-effective repatriation method – a qualified medic or medical team to travel with you on a commercial flight to your home country

We also provide a bed-to-bed service on our transports as standard, which means we’ll stay with you from the moment we arrive to the final handover. This also means we can liaise with the doctors who are looking after you, or your loved one, in the Spanish hospital or clinic. Sometimes family members – and even local hospital doctors – aren’t aware that we can transfer patients who are critically ill, or who are suffering from COVID (or have tested positive for the virus). In fact there are very few circumstances where it’s not possible to arrange a repatriation. We have the facilities and crews to treat critical patients in-transit, and we can arrange full-isolation transports for COVID cases. Our paramedics and medical directors can make a swift, informed assessment of your condition in the hospital and make sure it’s appropriate to travel. If it’s medically safe to get you home, we’ll find a way.

Real-life case study: How EMS helped a patient travel from the Costa Blanca to Ireland after she suffered a stroke while on holiday. Read the full story.

Contact us

Are you or a loved one looking to travel home from Spain for treatment? Get in touch with our 24-7 team and we’ll quickly take you through the potential options. You can ring us on +44 20 3514 679, send us an email, or message us on WhatsApp. We’re here to help.

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