Medevac charters (also referred to as Medivac charters) are complex aircraft charter missions which require utmost attention. A Medevac Aircraft is a dedicated aircraft which is configured specifically to transport patients (somewhat like a flying hospital room with a stretcher and appropriate equipment). Medevac Charters are complex mainly because they involve the livelihood of the patient that is flying. Patients are transported by Medevac charter when it is not possible to transport the patient by scheduled airline (for example when an ICU unit, an incubator or other special equipment is required) or when the patient needs to be repatriated out of a remote location. In this article we will review some of the important information that one should be aware of when planning or considering a Medevac aircraft charter mission.
Obtaining a quotation on a Medevac aircraft In order for a Medevac operator to be able to provide an accurate quotation, they will require a lot of information relevant to the requirement and the situation; as a general rule of thumb, you should have the following information at hand before you go out and ask for a quotation for a Medevac aircraft charter:
- Numberr of patients & numberr of escorts accompanying the patient(s)
- Name, age & gender of the patient(s)
- Condition of the patient(s)
- Latest medical report of the patient
- Ensure that the patient has been declared “fit to fly”
- Airport of departure and airport of destination
- Date of flight (this can be either “as soon as possible”, or a specific date in the future)
It will also help if you have the name and contact details of the treating doctor and hospital; this will allow the doctor that will come along with the aircraft to understand the condition of the patient and determine the equipment that is required prior to the Medevac charter taking place in order to ensure the safe transport of the patient. Any information related to the insurance of the patient and if his/her insurance company would accept to cover the costs of the Medevac aircraft charter will also greatly help the operator that is quoting for the charter.
Preparing the Medevac aircraft charter mission Once the contract for the Medevac charter has been signed; the operator will start preparing the flight. In addition to the preparations that take place for a regular charter flight, there are certain activities that require special attention when dealing with a Medevac charter;
- Ensure that all patients and escorts have the appropriate visas to enter the countries they are travelling to; bear in mind that this is the charterer’s responsibility, and not the responsibility of the Medevac operator.
- Ensure that the hospital of destination will accept the patient on the date/time that the Medevac charter is due to arrive.
- Ensure that appropriate ground transportation is arranged (i.e. ambulance at airport of departure and ambulance at airport of destination); the Medevac operator can assist with this, and sometimes it may even be included in the quotation.
- Confirm with the Medevac aircraft operator that the appropriate equipment and medical personnel will be available on board; for example, infants may need an incubator and a pediatrician whilst an adult may need an ICU unit with ventilation and a lung specialist. (It must be noted that the equipment and medical personnel that is required for a specific mission will have a great impact on the cost of the Medevac aircraft charter)
What exactly is provided during a Medevac aircraft charter? A Medevac aircraft charter is a turnkey solution and is used when other means (such as scheduled airlines) are not suitable or not available to the patient. Generally the Medevac aircraft charter will be provided as an “all-inclusive” solution and will come with the following services/amenities included:
- All costs related to the charter of the aircraft and the operation of the Medevac aircraft for the specified route
- Stretcher for the patient
- Medical equipment (ICU/Incubator/ventilator or other) – as required
- Medical team (consisting minimum of one paramedic and one specialist doctor)
- Catering (for patient and escorts)
Feel free to contact us, If you would like to know more about Medevac charters.