Medical repatriation is a form of emergency medical transport. It is the process of returning a sick or injured person to their home country for medical treatment. However, this can be a difficult and complicated process, as it often involves coordinating with multiple government agencies and medical providers.

Fortunately, at World Travel Protection we have over three decades of experience safely and efficiently getting patients home. We know that can be a lifesaving measure for those who need it.

Difference Between Medical Repatriation and Medical Evacuation?

Repatriation is the process of returning a person to their country of origin, while medical evacuation is the process of transporting a sick or injured person to another medical facility. Both repatriation and medical evacuation can be medically necessary in order to ensure that a person receives the treatment they need. However, there are some key differences between these two terms. 


Medical repatriation is typically used when referring to people who are travelling abroad and become sick or injured. In contrast, medical evacuation is more often used in situations where there is an immediate threat such as a security threat where someone must be transported to a safe location. 


Understanding the difference between these two terms can be crucial in ensuring that people receive the appropriate level of care. At World Travel Protection, we are experts in helping you get the care you need regardless of what situation you may find yourself in.

Challenges of Medical Repatriation

Medical repatriation can be a complex and difficult process, fraught with challenges and potential problems. The patient’s health and well-being are of paramount importance, making it essential that all aspects of the medical repatriation process are handled with care and professionalism.


There are a number of factors that can complicate medical repatriation, from bureaucratic red tape to language barriers to transportation issues. And in some cases, patients may not be able to travel for health reasons, making the process even more complicated.


Whatever the challenge, our team is experienced in handling every type of medical emergency and repatriation situation. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to navigate through any obstacle to ensure that your travellers receive the best possible care during their return home.

High Quality Medical Care

One of the most important cornerstones of high quality medical care is continuity of care. This means ensuring that the patient’s medical care is uninterrupted, regardless of their location. Qualified and experienced medical repatriation services, like our own, can ensure that the patient’s care is transferred seamlessly to the destination hospital or clinic, thus minimising any disruption in their treatment or medical needs.


Another key cornerstone of high quality medical care is communication. Our medical repatriation services will maintain open and constant communication with the patient, their family and risk manager, as well as with the health care professionals at the destination hospital. This communication will help to ensure that everyone involved is kept up-to-date on the patient’s condition and treatment plan, thus avoiding any misunderstandings or miscommunications.


Finally, we will always put the patient’s safety and well-being first. At World Travel Protection, we work tirelessly to ensure that the patient receives the best possible emergency medical care during their return home, and that all necessary arrangements are made in a timely and efficient manner.

When is Medical Repatriation Necessary?

Medical repatriation is often used when a person requires treatment that is not available in the country they have travelled to. In other cases, it may be necessary to evacuate an injured person from a disaster zone or conflict zone in order to ensure their safety.


When medical repatriation is necessary will depend on a variety of factors, including the seriousness of the illness or injury, the availability of adequate medical care in the destination country, and the political and social stability of the destination country. In some cases, medical repatriation may be necessary as a result of a humanitarian crisis, such as a natural disaster or epidemic.

Ensuring a Patient is Stable Enough to Travel​

There are a number of factors that should be considered when determining if the patient’s condition is stable enough for them to be medically repatriated. A pre-flight medical evaluation will be undertaken to establish the patient’s condition and medical needs. This will be taken include account along with:

  • The patient’s age and overall health condition
  • The availability of adequate medical care in the destination country
  • The political stability or conflict in the destination country
  • The availability of transportation and other necessary resources


In severe cases, an air ambulance or air transport may be required to transfer your loved one to a medical facility where they can receive the treatment they need.

Nurses and pilot carrying patient on stretcher to helicopter

Transportation for Medical Repatriation

When arranging for medical repatriation, it is important to work with a qualified and experienced provider who can ensure a smooth and successful transition. Emergency medical repatriation can take place through commercial flight, helicopters, or ground transportation such as cars or trains. However, in some extreme cases clients may require air ambulances for immediate medical attention in another country. 


Not all air ambulance services are created equal. At Work Travel Protection, we only work with providers who have extensive experience in arranging medical repatriations and who can offer a wide range of services and options. 


We take it a step further to offer you bed to bed medical assistance. This means that each patient will be transported from the airport or ground transport directly to their hospital room in both countries.


We ensure that the hospital in the patient’s home country will be expecting them on arrival, at which point they will also have the patient records available to them. Family members will be notified and the medical facilities will be prepared to offer care.

Choosing the Right Facility

First and foremost we choose the facility with the best care for the patient’s needs in their home country. If the patient requires specialists we will take that into account. However, we also look at personal preference and help our parents settle into a location which is close to their home, family or friends to support them during this difficult time.


We will communicate the patient’s travel insurance or health insurance coverage and any other necessary paperwork to the hospital facility they are transferred to so the process is as seamless as possible.

Woman traveling by plane during Coronavirus pandemic

Medical Repatriation Services

At World Travel Protection, we know that with the right planning and support, patients can receive the treatment they need and make a successful transition back to their home country. Medical repatriation is just one way we keep you safe with our emergency medical assistance services.

To learn more about how our travel medical assistance services can help support travellers and businesses manage travel risks, get in touch with us today by simply filling out the form below. Your safety and care is our top priority.

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