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  • FIRST POST
    • thefuzzbox
    • By thefuzzbox 29th Nov 17, 7:57 AM
    • 36Posts
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    thefuzzbox
    0 WOW
    Advice re: Medical Evacuation Cape Verde
    • #1
    • 29th Nov 17, 7:57 AM
    0 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 2
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 29th Nov 17, 3:05 PM
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    Silvertabby
    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 wouldn't be too sure - a medevac flight wouldn't just be a seat with extra leg room on a commercial jet, even if you can find an airline willing to take the risk (many won't).

    Worse possible case would be a private ambulance jet with on-board medical staff and equipment.

    Cheapest option would be first class - again with on-board medical staff etc.

    I hope you find a way out of this.

    EDIT: Found this on a travel mag website.

    Emergency flights home
    If you need to get home in an emergency from another country, it can cost you thousands of pounds if you don't have the right cover. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) quote some of the expected costs:
    • £35-45,000, air ambulance from USA’s East coast;
    • £12-16,000, air ambulance from the Canary Islands;
    • £15-20,000, scheduled flight, stretcher and doctor escort from Australia.
    May give you some idea.
    Last edited by Silvertabby; 29-11-2017 at 3:11 PM.
    • wondercollie
    • By wondercollie 30th Nov 17, 7:25 PM
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    wondercollie
    Medi-vacs are very expensive. Most airlines will accept patients deemed fit to travel if they travel first class and with a medical professional. So you would also incur the return ticket of the nurse.

    Medi-vacs that involve the air ambulance are usually fast for the insurance company to arrange but beware, they call the shots.

    Why would you think your Mum would be sent to Lisbon? The policy usually requires the return to the home hospital of the patient.

    I used to work for my health services medical repatriation unit. There is far more involved than just getting your Mum home. The insurance company has to find a local doctor to accept your Mum. So whichever local hospital does major orthopedic surgery will have to be involved. And trust me, they don't like phone calls from family members trying to hurry things along. Also your legal documents are only used if your Mum is incapable of making decisions for herself, which if she is fit to travel, insurers may say she is competent.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 30th Nov 17, 7:50 PM
    • 1,864 Posts
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    IAmWales
    Most airlines will accept patients deemed fit to travel if they travel first class and with a medical professional
    Can I ask which airlines require the patient to travel in first? Those that require stretchers are usually accommodated in economy, as it requires a block of normal seats to be moved and it's far easier to move economy seats. For ambulant passengers first doesn't offer any clinical advantages that cannot be had in another cabin (aside comfort, but that's not a medical reason, and additional seats can be booked for comfort).
    • karcher
    • By karcher 30th Nov 17, 8:10 PM
    • 1,552 Posts
    • 13,079 Thanks
    karcher
    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.
    Originally posted by thefuzzbox
    So what happened OP?
    • richardw
    • By richardw 30th Nov 17, 8:49 PM
    • 18,358 Posts
    • 7,593 Thanks
    richardw
    Btw there’s also a commercial airliner stretcher http://www.airambulanceguides.com/guide-medical-flight-or-commercial-airline-stretcher/
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
    • Archergirl
    • By Archergirl 1st Dec 17, 4:05 PM
    • 1,088 Posts
    • 588 Thanks
    Archergirl
    Well I hope it's gone OK for the OP, I would be very wary of paying thousands for a med e vac. I know it's very difficult when a parent is in trouble far from home but common sense must prevail. Perhaps the local hospital is not as bad as they fear.
    • karcher
    • By karcher 1st Dec 17, 8:18 PM
    • 1,552 Posts
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    karcher
    Well I hope it's gone OK for the OP, I would be very wary of paying thousands for a med e vac. I know it's very difficult when a parent is in trouble far from home but common sense must prevail. Perhaps the local hospital is not as bad as they fear.
    Originally posted by Archergirl
    Indeed. I do hope the OP comes back to update.
    • mgdavid
    • By mgdavid 2nd Dec 17, 2:00 AM
    • 5,281 Posts
    • 4,466 Thanks
    mgdavid
    Well I hope it's gone OK for the OP, I would be very wary of paying thousands for a med e vac. I know it's very difficult when a parent is in trouble far from home but common sense must prevail. Perhaps the local hospital is not as bad as they fear.
    Originally posted by Archergirl
    Yes, common sense my well suggest that a medevac to UK is the best option.
    Pal of mine was motor racing at Spa in Belgium a couple of months ago and had a nasty accident, plenty of broken bones although no internal injuries other than bruising. Family medevacced him home, cost several thousand pounds but was deemed best option. Not just on pure medical grounds but visiting and care convenience, morale etc etc.
    I certainly wouldn't leave a relative to the lottery of 'Perhaps the local hospital is not as bad as they fear' - in Cape Verde.
    A salary slave no more.....
    • thefuzzbox
    • By thefuzzbox 3rd Dec 17, 11:18 AM
    • 36 Posts
    • 36 Thanks
    thefuzzbox
    Hi.,

    Sorry for no update. Its been a ruddy dreadful week, but with a positive outcome.

    She is being flown back to the UK by air ambulance tomorrow (Monday) - and will be having a hip replacement once returned. The insurers are footing the bill.

    I think the biggest breakthrough came about through the intervention of the insurer MD so whoever suggested that, I thank you.

    I will post a further update later in the week, once she's back.

    Regards
    • Westin
    • By Westin 3rd Dec 17, 11:25 AM
    • 1,204 Posts
    • 888 Thanks
    Westin
    Thanks for returning to update the thread.

    So glad all has worked out and to hear that your mum will be returning tomorrow with full medical care in place.

    Thank goodness for travel insurance. For those who sometimes ask if it's necessary and won't their EHIC card suffice - here is a great example why it is so important to have private travel insurance in place when going on holiday or overseas.
    • richardw
    • By richardw 3rd Dec 17, 1:45 PM
    • 18,358 Posts
    • 7,593 Thanks
    richardw
    Great to hear she's being flown home and she's well enough to fly a long way.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 3rd Dec 17, 3:00 PM
    • 18,772 Posts
    • 14,481 Thanks
    agrinnall
    Good news, hope the op is a success once she's back.
    • karcher
    • By karcher 9th Dec 17, 12:03 AM
    • 1,552 Posts
    • 13,079 Thanks
    karcher
    Hi.,

    Sorry for no update. Its been a ruddy dreadful week, but with a positive outcome.

    She is being flown back to the UK by air ambulance tomorrow (Monday) - and will be having a hip replacement once returned. The insurers are footing the bill.

    I think the biggest breakthrough came about through the intervention of the insurer MD so whoever suggested that, I thank you.

    I will post a further update later in the week, once she's back.

    Regards
    Originally posted by thefuzzbox
    Thanks for the update, I hope all went well.
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