Pre-hospital medical plans - a frequently forgotten issue...

by WildZambezi.com • 3 September 2009

Travel advice is all very useful and important, especially the stuff about what to do in the event of an accident or a medical emergency.   Usually the advice is: get decent International Insurance that will get you admitted into a decent medical facility.

What is missed, though, is that the most exciting destinations, the get-away-from-it-all places are naturally in the remotest areas -  in the middle of nowhere.

A close encounter with the natural world in a remote place means the absence of what most people take for granted in our modern world:  the absence of first class medical facilities down the road, the absence of the local pharmacy, the absence of a well-maintained road network and in some extreme cases the absence of a reliable telephone network.

In an emergency it is vital to access appropriate medical intervention as quickly as possible. This is so vital that in some cases it can mean the difference between life and death or permanent disability.   Your International Insurance will get you admitted into a decent medical facility.  But how do you get there, and how quickly?  

What you need is a reliable and effective ambulance service.

All insurance packages require pre-authorisation before a service provider is assured of payment for attending to a patient.  In an emergency where time is of essence and quick decisions need to be taken, the last thing you need is to waste time getting authorisations. 

Zimababwe's Medical Air Rescue Service (MARS) provides short-term travel cover for emergency road or air evacuation to the nearest medical facility.  This can be purchased per person per week either directly by the visitor or through their tourism operator or and hotel.  This will guarantee first class emergency evacuation, by both road and air, with appropriately trained doctors and paramedics 24/7.

 

It's worth checking with your agent or tour operator when you make your booking that this service is available at the places you are visiting.  If it isn't then take out short-term coverage direct.  For more information contact the following companies 

MARS (Medical Air Rescue Services)

ACE (Air & Ambulance)

EMRAS (Emergency Medical Rescue Ambulance Service

 

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