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ASSISTANCE & REPATRIATION REVIEW 2018


RID


alia, vacation and business travellers in trouble are testing mote areas


anies … have heir service


ng asked to ons that really onal model


their own country. Tey might also need security escorts along the way, for example if there is a risk of violence,” said Dr Gordon. “Containing costs whilst providing optimum patient care can also add to the challenges of assistance in remote areas, since air and road ambulances, medical escorts, medical care and flights might all be involved.” Assistance providers should ideally have direct billing arrangements with hospitals and pre-negotiated discounts with networks of global contacts, she told ITIJ.


With remote travel becoming more popular, though, this ideal applies less. Dr Graham Denyer, Chief Medical Officer at First Assistance in New Zealand, highlighted the way in which the growth in remote travel has stretched the industry. “Te traditional approach of assistance providers has been to maintain a worldwide network of medical providers and, where there are gaps in that network, to rely upon partner providers to respond on their behalf. Tese medical networks form a significant


component of the intellectual property of a mature assistance operation. With both corporate and leisure travel increasing to remote environments, assistance providers are being asked to respond in locations that really test this traditional model.” In many such places, local medical networks might be unknown, inadequate or non-existent, he added: “In such environments, reliance on local medical resources for triage is inappropriate or impossible and necessarily falls back to the assistance


| 33 International Travel & Health Insurance Journal >>


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