EMS Ambulance 6 Oct 2022
Will there be a doctor on our medical transport?
Will there be a doctor on our medical transport?
So you’re looking to book a medical transport for a friend, colleague or loved one abroad. You’ve googled some providers. Perhaps you’ve even narrowed down the transfer options – an air ambulance, a road ambulance or a medical escort on a commercial flight.
But now you’re wondering: Who will actually be on board with them? Is it just an ambulance crew? A driver or flight team? A driver and a minder?
This is actually a really common question. Here are some answers…
Who’s on board?
Every international transport involves a lot of different people, many of whom will be working on your journey behind the scenes. For EMS Ambulance, that includes:
A repatriation specialist – who takes your first call and finds the best option for your patient
The operations team – who handle all the logistics, from route plans to tickets and bed arrangements
The transport team – who will drive or fly your patient from collection point to final destination
And then there are the medics themselves. Practices may vary across the repatriation industry, but EMS always provides two key types of medical personnel on every transport:
An onboard medic – an experienced doctor, nurse or paramedic (or combination of these) to care for your patient during the journey, depending on your needs and the type of transport you’re using
A doctor-on-call – who remotely oversees your transport and is there to answer your questions
Let’s look at those in a bit more detail.
An onboard medic
Although most transports are fast – they’re designed to be – they often involve close patient supervision during the journey. That could mean simple things like administering oxygen, looking after a patient’s wheelchair or toileting needs, or helping them take their regular medication. But it might also involve serious medical intervention – if their condition deteriorates, for example, or if they suddenly need emergency help. Whatever happens, we want to ensure they have someone with them who can offer qualified medical treatment, not just rudimentary support. That’s why all our transports include an advanced onboard medic. That could be a doctor, a paramedic or a nurse (EMS nurses are trained to deliver ER / intensive-care support), or a whole team of medics. And if it’s an airborne repatriation, they’ll also have specialist aeromedical training.
EMS transports also come with round-the-clock remote support from a highly experienced doctor. This person acts as your case supervisor, and is available 24/7 during the transport. Their job is to advise on repatriation planning, work with the current hospital to assess your patient’s treatment and needs, and confirm your patient is fit to transport. But they’re also there to provide specialist advice to the paramedic and transport crew if necessary: an on-tap resource for anything your patient might need during the journey.
...and specialists, if required
The bottom line is that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all repatriation: every medical transport is different, because every patient has unique needs and concerns. That means our job is to assemble the right team for your own patient – and if they need to travel with medical specialists and specific equipment, we’ll make sure that happens. What does that look like in practice? Here are some examples, with some links to other articles you may find useful:
Paediatric expert – with experience in aeromedical transfers for young children and babies
ICU doctor or surgeon – for emergency treatment on a high-care air ambulance
Psychiatric specialist – for a patient who has mental health issues
Cardiologist – for post-stroke support (see our recent case study: Transporting a stroke patient)
Geriatric specialist – to support an elderly patient with dementia
Pulmonary doctor – for a patient with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Put simply: if you need it, we’ll provide it. Whatever your patient’s medical needs or difficulties, there’s always a way to make sure they get the high-quality medical support they need. If you’d like to know more, why not drop us a line? Our 24/7 team are on hand and ready to chat. They’ll be happy to help you explore the options and possibilities.
Interested in finding out more about this topic? You might find these resources helpful!
How medical repatriation works: a really simple timeline
Who’s working on your medical transport?
Guaranteeing a superb service with the ISO 9001:2015 accreditation
Need to talk? We’re here to help. Just get in touch with our friendly experts by phone, email or WhatsApp. Head to our Contact page for the details. You can also get a free, no-obligation cost estimate for your repatriation with our online pricing calculator.