What To Do In Case Of A Medical Emergency Abroad
Firstly if you are in an emergency then you will need to call the local equivalent of 999, which in the USA is 911 and in the EU is 112 for a local ambulance service.
Do not ask your hotel or rep to arrange for you to attend a hospital, they will not always make arrangements based on your best interests or clinical needs.
You can contact assistance in an emergency by calling +44 (0) 333 003 7388. You can also email them at Operations@emergencyassistance.co.uk.
When you call our assistance service, you will speak to a member of our team who will help guide you through what you need to do and advise how they can support you.
You will need to have some basic information for them to hand:
- Your telephone number, (and email).
- The name and age of the patient and as much information about the medical situation as possible.
- The name of the hospital, the ward, the treating doctor and the telephone numbers if you have them.
- Tell them that you have a Spectrum travel insurance policy, policy number, the date you bought it and your booked travel dates.
- The patient’s UK GP details, name, address and phone number (in case more information on current medical conditions and treatment is needed).
More information can be found in your policy wording or in the tabs below.
What can the Assistance team do for you?
Our first priority is to ensure you have access to optimal care and doctors who will work with your best clinical outcome as priority. To make sure we meet your expectations it is important that you know what the assistance team and your policy can do for you;
Important things to remember and what to expect:
- Your policy is not private healthcare and so will not cover medical expenses in a private clinic unless agreed by our team in advance and only where there are no clinically capable state facilities available. If you choose to have treatment or remain in a private facility without our approval then you are unlikely to receive reimbursement for treatment or costs incurred
- It is our experience that in most areas of the world, optimal care is found in the public sector. So, if you are admitted to a private facility, when it is safe to do so, we may make arrangements to move you to an alternative facility.
- The policy covers emergency and necessary treatment only, so if treatment can reasonably wait until you get home then this will not be covered by the policy.
- We will work with your best medical interest at the centre of every decision we make.
- We will manage your expectations, however please bear in mind that medical situations can change very quickly and so sometimes things change that are outside of our control.
- Because we are a 24/7 operation we cannot guarantee that the same person will handle your case throughout, but where possible we try to so that you have a familiar voice to speak to.
- We will need to confirm that both your policy is valid and ensure that the circumstances of your injury or illness are covered, we will do this as quickly as we can.
- Although the local doctor might discharge you from hospital and suggest that you can return home, some may even issue a ‘Fit to Fly’ there are regulations imposed by airlines regarding when you can, and cannot fly following a serious accident or an operation. Our team have experience of transporting thousands of unwell and injured passengers across the globe. They are therefore, best placed to make the decision as to when it is safe for you to fly, rather than a treating doctor who may not have any specific repatriation experience.
- We will only consider repatriating you before treatment, or stabilisation of a condition when the risk of you staying where you are is greater than the risk associated with moving you.
- We know that you want to get home at the earliest opportunity, however we want to get you home safely and that doesn’t always mean it’ll be right away. Therefore, our medical team may recommend an extended stay in the hospital (or a local hotel) until your condition has stabilized sufficiently to allow your safe return home.
- Transfer by Air Ambulance; aviation at any level comes with significant risk when someone is unwell. We consider the use of Air Ambulance transfer very carefully and generally they are only used in exceptional circumstances and based on what our medical team consider to be clinically appropriate.
We have created a page where you can review information relating to our ethos and philosophies in relation to assistance, repatriation and medical care across the globe.
For more information please visit our dedicated Philosophies page.