exceptional within one geographical area, but struggle in another difficult region. We have seen this a lot with companies coming to us directly for assistance with remote location work, and we are very proud of being able to adapt our operations to specific areas. Some assistance companies stick with their usual providers, because they do not see enough remote cases to merit changing providers. Tis is likely to be a long- term problem, as we are expecting to see increases in remote location travel, which in turn means that a reliable provider should be readily available for these operations.” Tis comes down to provider network departments implementing strategies whereby they are able to assess their remote location capabilities, said Tester: “Individuals working within these roles need to be thinking about potential cases in difficult locations and whether their current networks are the most suitable. As a provider ourselves, it is important to ensure we enhance our own capabilities to assist in remote locations, too." Although some of the areas that must be looked at are very specific to this sector, the same principle applies and it is easy to see the similarities within other areas of assistance cover. "We need to look at facilities in remote locations and what we can work with, firstly looking at our provider network," added Tester. "For example, do we have a suitable funeral director who can assist here? If not, can we re-evaluate potential new providers? Are these companies now

adhering to the standards we expect, or are they still poor? What facilities are at the local hospital? Is there cold storage, or can we embalm safely? All of these aspects need to be assessed even before we can start looking

36 | International Travel & Health Insurance Journal

Pre-travel education is mandatory regardless of the destination

at other options. Other concerns are about coffin availability. Is there a coffin here, or do we need to ship one? Is there a flight option or airport? If not, how can we access the location? It is important to be prepared and to have the best option possible for a safe and dignified repatriation from any location worldwide.” Dr Mathias Kalina, Group Medical Director at Europ Assistance, said that the lack or absence of medical resources in remote areas means that a decision to evacuate is taken ‘very often’. “To be able to assist in those locations, being prepared is key for all involved. We are continuously enhancing our network capabilities to enable not only

Assistance companies ought to know the laws and regulations outside of the US regarding homosexuality

international evacuations but also primary evacuations from the remote site to the nearest first-aid clinic and then secondary evacuation to the nearest hospital." Depending on the patient’s condition, he continued, 'we can choose not to evacuate if it’s not medically necessary as we have invested in a quality medical network of healthcare facilities and physicians able to provide appropriate medical attention, even in remote areas'.

Be prepared “For corporates,” says Denyer, “their duty of care toward travelling employees is clear – although by many it is poorly understood and implemented. For insurers, the problem is more complex: how to engage customers in managing travel risk? Technology plays more of a role here, and increasingly, the provision of services such as travel risk

advisory apps, travel tracking, and emergency response technology will become standard.” Dr Quigley told ITIJ: “Pre-travel education is mandatory regardless of the destination. Business travellers need to


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