EMS Ambulance 4 Jan 2019
Does my insurance cover medical repatriation after a winter sport accident?
The new year has come and many people will soon be heading off for a winter sports holiday, such as skiing or snowboarding. These holidays bring great fun, but are not without risk of accident. Unfortunately, injuries or breaks as a result of a fall are not uncommon – so you’ll want to be confident that your travel insurance provides adequate cover for treatment abroad and possibly medical repatriation.
A recent survey revealed that around a third of piste-bound UK travellers don’t check their policy to make sure they’re sufficiently covered for winter sports. When it came to the over-55s, the figure rose to 38 per cent.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), which co-commissioned the research along with travel industry body ABTA, said there were 118 hospitalisations of British skiers and snowboarders in European resorts reported between 2012 and 2016.
This figure underlines the importance of having proper insurance cover when taking to the slopes.
What if I have an accident while skiing or snowboarding?
If you live within the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will give you access to medical services in Europe. So you will be able to receive initial treatment at a local hospital. After that point many patients prefer to go home to recover or for further treatment in their own country. But travelling with a serious injury can require specialist transport.
Medical repatriation services like EMS can help bring you home. If you have an accident while skiing or snowboarding, our expert medical team can bring you back home quickly – sometimes the same day. Repatriation costs are not covered by EHIC, but most travel insurances will cover all, or most, of the cost. It is worth checking your policy before you leave to know you are covered. But even if your insurance company does not cover medical repatriation, EMS can still bring you home. Do contact us to discuss your situation and the options available to you.
Medical repatriation services at EMS Ambulance
EMS Ambulance offer three main kinds of medical repatriation services: by road ambulance, by air ambulance and by medical escort.
Most winter sport accidents don’t cause life threatening injuries which means it is often possible to be carry out a repatriation by road ambulance or with a medical escort on a commercial flight.
At EMS Ambulance we have our own fleet of ambulances, modified for long-distance patient transport. A repatriation by road is one of the safest and most comfortable ways for a patient to travel. We can cover distances of thousands of miles and can travel even beyond the borders of Europe. All our ambulances are stocked with a full complement of medicine and fitted out with the latest medical equipment.
Alternatively, it is sometimes possible to fly on a commercial flight with a skiing injury, such as a broken leg. EMS offer a medical escort service, whereby a qualified medical professional accompanies the patient on the flight making it medically safe for them to travel. A medical repatriation with a medical escort is a quick and often cost effective way of travelling home, and in some cases can even allow you to travel back home on your original flight.
Occasionally skiing accidents can lead to very serious trauma, for example when head injuries are involved. In such cases patients might require life support and an air ambulance might be the best way to repatriate them.
EMS can be reached any time on our 24-hour emergency number, via chat or by email. Once we’ve assessed your situation we can give you a free quote for everything necessary to get you home. We include all medical supplies, necessary medicine, and food and drink. We even find you a bed in a hospital back home, if necessary, and will take you straight there.
Whatever your situation, contact us to discuss your options. We are here to help.