Less than 5% of European inpatients turn to air ambulance- MediHelp International Press Release- 25.08.2014
European statistics attest that only between 2-5% of inpatients turn to air ambulance in Europe, for emergency cases. Despite being a fairly uncharted territory at the moment, the progress for air ambulance services varies across different countries in Europe.
Switzerland is the country with the most up to date air ambulance service in Europe. The non-profit association REGA is providing air ambulance and emergency care all across the country. The customers are members of the NGO which is in charge of providing the service rights, through a membership card. Another European country that has implemented an air ambulance structure is Greece, which has put in place an emergency system for patients on islands.
The situation in Central and Eastern European is not quite as evolved. Despite the fact that some countries have started to create air ambulance solutions that can cover large territories and difficult conditions, there are still many states that don’t provide the necessary systems. Thus, rescue activities are difficult in emergency cases, when patients are located in rural areas, remote locations or want to be repatriated in case of a medical emergency.
“The cost of air ambulance is another important matter that needs to be taken into consideration. If a patient in trauma is not lucky enough to find a service covered by the state insurance facilities, he could end up paying scary figures. The charge of a middle size aircraft medically equipped with competent medical team can reach 10,000 Euros per hour of flight.
A wise solution in this case would be finding an air ambulance service covered by a cross-border insurance policy such as the insurance policies offered by MediHelp International. In this case, a reasonable yearly fee is paid to secure that in the case of a medical emergency, the provider guarantees to fly the patient under medical care from the location they are in, to the nearest suitable and capable medical facility. ”, says Zahal Levy, President of MediHelp International.
Air ambulance is a solution in case of a medical emergency that ensures the patient a safe journey with medical care to the proper medical facility. The task of the emergency unit is to arrive to the scene and act immediately, securing the stabilization and the smooth ventilation and circulation. The transport of the patient can be done either through single transports or shared capacity transports, with the assistance of highly trained medical personnel.
Air ambulance services are used for patients in remote conditions, with scarce access to quality medical care or patients who need emergency care in other types of medical facilities than the ones in close reach. Air ambulance is also an option for patients who want to be repatriated to their country, due to quality of medical services or lower costs of treatment.