Picking up the pieces in Kazakhstan, assisting a medical repatriation

Traveller Assist were contacted by a medical repatriation company to explain that their assistance provider had made a catastrophic mistake and booked a ground ambulance transfer for the wrong day.

The patient was 640km away from the airport and the medical repatriation was booked on a Lufthansa flight, with doctor and stretcher, that was scheduled to depart in 19-hours.

The patient was an elderly gentleman who had suffered a stroke and was taken to a hospital in Petropavlovsk in Northern Kazakhstan.

Due to security requirements at the airport in Astana, the only ambulance providers who could gain access to the runway were based in Astana, 1,280km away from the patient and no provider in Petropavlovsk could be activated at such short notice.

Traveller Assist issued a GOP to the provider in Astana and a ground-ambulance, with a doctor and two paramedics ,was dispatched on blue-lights. With an average speed of 80kmph, the journey to pick up the patient would take 9-hours including a fuel-stop and driver change-over.

Traveller Assist facilitated the immediate payment of the medical bill at the hospital and obtained copies of the medical bill and fit to fly letter to ensure there were no delays in the patient discharge procedures.

A copy of the fit to fly letter, medical report and patients passport were provided to the airline, and a medical information form was completed by our medical team to save critical time upon the patients arrival at the airport.

Our team were in constant contact with the medical repatriation doctor at the airport, and with Lufthansa to provide them with progress updates of the journey.

The flight was scheduled to depart at 02:00hrs and with just 90-minutes to go until the flight was scheduled for departure, the ambulance crew and patient were still 60-minutes away.

Due to the complexity of the case, Lufthansa agreed to delay their flight by one-hour to ensure the patient was received on-time.

The patient was loaded on to the flight which departed at 02:30hrs from Astana, and landed on-time in Frankfurt, Germany where the patient was successfull transferred to a hospital.

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