Medical Repatriation vs. Medical Evacuation

David A. Farcy / September 1, 2021 /

People often use the terms medical repatriation and medical evacuation interchangeably, mainly referring to patients requiring treatment when traveling abroad. However, the difference between the two is significant. 

Medical repatriation typically refers to the extended treatment a patient might receive after an injury or illness. In contrast, medical evacuation applies to immediate attention required at the time of the injury.

REVA has the experience and expertise to provide our clients with superior service in both areas. 

What is Medical Evacuation?

Medical evacuation involves transporting a patient experiencing a medical emergency to the nearest capable facility as safely and quickly as possible. It happens only when the local facility cannot provide the proper diagnosis, qualified medical personnel or necessary equipment to sufficiently treat a patient. After an attending physician determines an evacuation is necessary, specially trained medical personnel conduct the patient’s transport. 

A physician can also deem an evacuation necessary when a patient needs specialized care at a separate facility not available at their location. This decision can occur due to a non-serious condition worsening over time.

Many times, the attending physician will make the transportation arrangements. Depending on the patient’s circumstances and location, the transport may occur by ground or air.

At REVA, we can initiate the entire evacuation process for you. We will make all the necessary arrangements every step of the way. We’ll even contact your insurance company and gather all the required documentation for reimbursement. 

What is Medical Repatriation?

Medical repatriation can apply to various circumstances, but it usually arises well after a patient receives urgent care. For example, repatriation applies if a traveler sustains an injury in a foreign country and later needs to return to their home country for extended treatment. In cases like these, patients can receive more appropriate higher-level care that was not immediately available at the initial treatment facility.

Medical repatriation typically begins where medical evacuation leaves off. In some cases, repatriation can occur when a patient requires long-term care but is no longer in critical condition. Because timing is often not as vital, the initiation process for repatriation is more straightforward.

Additionally, repatriation of remains can occur when a deceased person’s body requires transportation to their homeland, including removal of the body from the hospital, embalming and coffin placement.

At REVA, our staff is ready to help you navigate all the steps of the repatriation process.

How REVA Can Help You

Whether you need help arranging a medical evacuation or repatriation, REVA has the experience and expertise to guide you. From organizing the transportation to providing the medical crew to working through the insurance details, we’ll stand by your side throughout the entire process. Some benefits of working with us include:

  • 24/7 operations: Our staff is available around the clock to coordinate your needs.
  • Multilingual crew: REVA’s highly skilled linguistic specialists are among the best in the industry.
  • Communication: Our communication team will keep all parties informed of the patient’s condition through all steps.
  • Bedside-to-bedside: REVA’s medical team will remain at the client’s side throughout the process.
  • Medical professionals: Our medical team is among the most qualified in the air-ambulance industry.
  • Insurance claims: REVA’s specialists will guide you through all phases of the insurance process. 
  • Safety: Our safety training programs surpass all requirements of applicable regulatory agencies.

To learn more about how REVA can help you, call us or contact us online today.