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  • FIRST POST
    • thefuzzbox
    • By thefuzzbox 29th Nov 17, 7:57 AM
    • 36Posts
    • 35Thanks
    thefuzzbox
    83 WOW
    Advice re: Medical Evacuation Cape Verde
    • #1
    • 29th Nov 17, 7:57 AM
    83 WOW
    Advice re: Medical Evacuation Cape Verde 29th Nov 17 at 7:57 AM
    Hi,


    I'm in a bit of a pickle, so any practical advice needed:


    • My mother (69) on holiday in Cape Verde with father (80) - through Tui at a resort.
    • On Fri 24th, she fell on wet tiles, and snapped her femur.
    • Since then, she's been in a clinic which is not set up for surgery so has just been receiving pain relief.
    • She is insured (World First) and yesterday insurers confirmed they are happy with the medical declarations (pre-existing medical conditions) we made - no issue on cover.
    • The clinic she is in have indicated the bone is beginning to heal incorrectly, and will consequently need breaking again.
    • I've been in touch with the medics (emergencyassistance) that the insurers outsource to but they seem to be taking an eternity to make a decision as to what to do - despite agreeing she is in urgent need of surgery - they have promised a definitive decision in terms of way forward later this morning
    • The clinic she is in have indicated the bone is beginning to heal incorrectly, and will consequently need breaking again. This current clinic feel she is fit to fly back to the UK and are bemused as to why the insurers haven't.
    • My father received a call yesterday from the insurers medical team that suggests their proposed course of action is to move her to the largest hospital in Cape Verde - and are referencing a hip replacement (but they only have one type of hip?)
    • All that I read online suggest that due to limited facilities/medicines the hospitals on the islands are simply not set up for major surgery
    • I have called the FCO to see what (if any) support they could offer, and with it being an honorary consulate with an interface through Lisbon, they were supportive but quite clear they couldn't influence anything.
    My options seem to be:
    1) Take insurers medical advice and have her moved to this other hospital on the islands.
    2) Separately organize my own medical evac for her (which incredibly might be doable from a financial standpoint, as I'd just re-mortgaged to pay for some planned building work).


    My gut tells me that it will have to be 2 - in which case, does anyone have any positive experience of a similar scenario, who could offer any suggestions as to how to go about doing this?
Page 1
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 29th Nov 17, 8:11 AM
    • 15,626 Posts
    • 11,418 Thanks
    hollydays
    • #2
    • 29th Nov 17, 8:11 AM
    • #2
    • 29th Nov 17, 8:11 AM
    What does her uk doctor say
    Last edited by hollydays; 29-11-2017 at 8:14 AM.
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 29th Nov 17, 8:21 AM
    • 15,626 Posts
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    hollydays
    • #3
    • 29th Nov 17, 8:21 AM
    • #3
    • 29th Nov 17, 8:21 AM
    It’s difficult when youre hearing medical decisions second hand.
    I have known of situations where making a statement on the companies Facebook or twitter feed have good results- but you’d need to be sure of your facts before doing that.
    I’d be getting your mother’s permission to speak to the claims dept in uk and be very assertive and only deal with them
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 29th Nov 17, 8:25 AM
    • 15,626 Posts
    • 11,418 Thanks
    hollydays
    • #4
    • 29th Nov 17, 8:25 AM
    • #4
    • 29th Nov 17, 8:25 AM
    Can we rule out she’s on Brava or santa Antão
    • Westin
    • By Westin 29th Nov 17, 8:26 AM
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    Westin
    • #5
    • 29th Nov 17, 8:26 AM
    • #5
    • 29th Nov 17, 8:26 AM
    What a horrid situation for your family to be in.

    Have YOU spoken with the team on the insurers medical assistance line? They would normally have consulted with their own medical experts as well as the medical team at the local hospital/clinic and could hopefully tell you why they are recommending this course of action (or inaction). Perhaps they think that long journeys or an airlift at this time would agrivate the situation?

    If you look on this insurers website towards the bottom they give the name of the managing director. Seems that he is open to contact and comments. Perhaps reach out to him and ask if he could answer your questions.

    https://www.world-first.co.uk/home/contact-us.aspx
    • thefuzzbox
    • By thefuzzbox 29th Nov 17, 8:58 AM
    • 36 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    thefuzzbox
    • #6
    • 29th Nov 17, 8:58 AM
    • #6
    • 29th Nov 17, 8:58 AM
    Thanks for the replies to date.

    In terms of her UK Doctor, I've managed to wangle an appointment to go and see him at 10.20am. I'm hoping on the basis that he did processed the consent for insurers to have her medical records that he might be in possession of her medical report from the clinic.

    She is in a clinic in Santa Maria on the island of Sal.

    I have been in contact with the insurers medical team over the last couple of days. Once I pass data protection they're OK to discuss with me, but to date I've only received the frontline team (who whilst polite are understandably either reluctant or unable to provide more info). I'll ring them again shortly and try and get clarity for their proposed course of action.

    Thank you for the contact details of the manager etc I'll also try that after speaking with the Doctor/Insurance team if I don't get what I need.

    .

    I will update again a bit later, but thank you.
    Last edited by thefuzzbox; 05-12-2017 at 8:30 PM.
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 29th Nov 17, 9:17 AM
    • 15,626 Posts
    • 11,418 Thanks
    hollydays
    • #7
    • 29th Nov 17, 9:17 AM
    • #7
    • 29th Nov 17, 9:17 AM
    Aww x good luck xx
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 29th Nov 17, 9:18 AM
    • 15,626 Posts
    • 11,418 Thanks
    hollydays
    • #8
    • 29th Nov 17, 9:18 AM
    • #8
    • 29th Nov 17, 9:18 AM
    Can you get something in writing from her before you speak to doc that’s she consents to youdealing with this- it may be crucial for data protection.
    May sound silly but even a video of her saying it too( just thinking on my feet here)
    Last edited by hollydays; 29-11-2017 at 9:21 AM.
    • karcher
    • By karcher 29th Nov 17, 9:27 AM
    • 1,515 Posts
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    karcher
    • #9
    • 29th Nov 17, 9:27 AM
    • #9
    • 29th Nov 17, 9:27 AM
    No advice just wanted to say good luck OP and please keep us posted.
    • thefuzzbox
    • By thefuzzbox 29th Nov 17, 9:31 AM
    • 36 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    thefuzzbox
    Fair play - that suggestion of contacting the MD seems to have paid off. I received a reply within 10 mins stating he has sent an immediate email to the medical ops team, and will follow up throughout the day to 'try and move things forward in a much better manner'.

    I've also suggested getting my father to record my mother with the video statement of consent (I do have one of those health power of attorney things but guess it's about as much use as a chocolate teapot right now).

    Off to Doctor's shortly - will update after that.
    • thefuzzbox
    • By thefuzzbox 29th Nov 17, 11:44 AM
    • 36 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    thefuzzbox
    A brief update:


    My visit to her UK Doctor reinforced that ordinarily the course of action would be to ensure surgery asap, and is of the belief the most appropriate course of action would be repatriation to the UK.

    I spoke with the consultant at the clinic she is based in who confirmed a) my mother is stable (b) is not in traction (c) is receiving just painkillers and blood thinning drugs (d) that she does not believe the potential other hospital on Cape Verde is appropriate for such major surgery or the recovery that will be required afterwards.

    An interesting twist is that after completing the above, I called the Insurers medical outsourced group for an update (having not received the promised call). They are now refusing to discuss with me. No stated reason given, aside from all communication with their medical team needing to be through my 80 year old father. This despite him expressly stating he wanted me to deal with it, and me informing them I have the Lasting Power of Attorney for Health Matters for my mother - but to no avail.

    I provided a brief email update to the MD@WorldFirst on the above. I'm just hoping he can bash heads together.
    • thefuzzbox
    • By thefuzzbox 29th Nov 17, 12:09 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    thefuzzbox
    And to rub salt in the wound (and I can just about see the funny side of this if I try really hard) - in terms of my actions to try and free up the funds if needed to pay for a private evac.

    Premium Bonds - Upon receiving my re-mortgage funds of 50K (other mortgage is down to 8k), I put 43K in Premium Bonds to take myself up to the limit, whilst I was awaiting the building work. NS&I tell me I can't retrieve any of the funds until after the 1st Dec as the next draw is too close.

    Increasing Amex Limit - I churn their cards regularly, but currently just have 1 Nectar Amex (the 30K promo recently tempted me in) - with a limit of 5k and 0 balance (had a BA Amex until recently but cancelled it). Amex will not increase my credit limit as you only become eligible for a credit review after 3 months. Seemingly, I could apply for another Amex, and then once received xfer the limit from one card to the other to increase it that way.

    So, I think I'll now be down to using the credit on a Master card, (10k) and probably need to apply for an immediate loan from my bank (FD) if I end up down that route.
    • karcher
    • By karcher 29th Nov 17, 1:03 PM
    • 1,515 Posts
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    karcher
    Oh no, it never rains but it pours.

    Did the MD get back to you?
    • thefuzzbox
    • By thefuzzbox 29th Nov 17, 1:08 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    thefuzzbox
    Yes, the MD has just sent through a response. All quite conciliatory and indicating he's doing his best.


    He stated he's in discussion with the Ops Manager at the medical side, has relayed my concerns regarding LPOA and stated he'll continue to monitor through the afternoon and evening. Albeit that in some ways I guess they're the intermediary (and as such limited in terms of being able to intrude on the specialist side of things), I've been impressed to date with the responsiveness there.


    I did contemplate seeing if the local news were remotely interested, given headline news down here on south coat in sunny Bournemouth generally consists of vandals upturning a wheelie bin - but thought I need to give them a little bit of time to see what they come up with.
    • richardw
    • By richardw 29th Nov 17, 1:17 PM
    • 18,340 Posts
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    richardw
    I wouldn't get the news involved.

    Perhaps do a bit of research regarding nearest better hospital in case they don't recommend her being flown too far.
    Last edited by richardw; 29-11-2017 at 1:24 PM.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
    • Westin
    • By Westin 29th Nov 17, 1:29 PM
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    • 885 Thanks
    Westin
    I’d also be caution about involving the media. A sure way to potentially cutting off the cooperation with the insurers and their MD.
    • Westin
    • By Westin 29th Nov 17, 1:34 PM
    • 1,203 Posts
    • 885 Thanks
    Westin
    It seems you are doing a great job coordinating things from here in the U.K. but in case you or another relative feel the need to go and support your mum and dad in Sal, there is a TUI flight tomorrow from Gatwick at 09:35 to Sal with seats available.
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 29th Nov 17, 1:49 PM
    • 1,912 Posts
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    Silvertabby
    How awful for you all. Just a thought, but is it possible that the insurance company are dragging their heels because a local operation would cost far, far less than a medevac costing many thousands of £?
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 29th Nov 17, 1:50 PM
    • 18,679 Posts
    • 14,397 Thanks
    agrinnall
    If they continue to refuse to accept that your LPA gives you the right to speak to them (that of course assumes that is has previously been registered so that it is currently active) then perhaps you could speak to the Office of the Public Guardian to get their advice on how to enforce it.

    0300 456 0300

    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/office-of-the-public-guardian
    • thefuzzbox
    • By thefuzzbox 29th Nov 17, 1:55 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    thefuzzbox
    RichardW / Westin - Thanks for your thoughts on involving other outlets/news etc. - I hadn't thought of the downsides in terms of cooperation, so I won't do that. I also realize there are 000's of people in far worse predicaments, so it's probably not newsworthy anyway.


    Silvertabby - that had been my thoughts too, but I guess a local surgery, plus recuperation then fly back surely can't be that much cheaper. And, who knows why, but in the back of my mind I'm thinking maybe there is a sound medical reason.


    I did get a brief email from the EAF team which suggests the MD route had suggested they might benefit from being a bit more communicative (albeit limited).


    My father is now trying to speak to the insurer to get a decision.


    Fundamentally, I want them to either state they'll fly her to UK/Lisbon/Gran Canaria and when, or to state their only offering is the other Cape Verde hospital. If the latter, then hey presto I can pull the trigger on a private evac, but I don't feel I can do that until I get them to make a decision.
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