by Anggita Sari Dewi, B. Bus
What is Medevac?
Medical Evacuation, also known as Medevac, is a term initially used during a war, to describe an activity to move an injured soldier from a battlefield to receive medical care, using a medically equipped helicopter. The first Medevac was during World War II, when helicopters were used to evacuate three British pilots in Burma. However, nowadays, the term Medevac has also been used in smaller-scale incidents, for instance, when a person is injured abroad and needs to be transferred to a hospital in their home country.
Types of Medevac
Although Medevac is originally performed using a helicopter, now the medevac transportation mode has varied depending on some other factors, including the patient’s condition, travel distance, location field, as well as budget. PENTA Medica provides different modes of transportation for Medevac, as follows:
- Commercial Flight – Medevac
From medical point of view, Commercial Flight Medevac is usually recommended for patients with a higher tolerance to high flight altitude, mild to moderate health problems, and the ability to sit upright for a prolonged time. For instance, a person breaks his/ her arms during a holiday overseas and wants to be transferred to a hospital in their home country for further treatment.
In some cases, Commercial Flight is able to arrange a stretcher for patients who need to be in a supine position, as well as supply backup oxygen for patients who need an oxygen supply during the flight. From technical and administrative point of view, this type of medevac needs a longer time to arrange, about 24-36 hours, and there are more documents to prepare for the airlines. Although, from cost perspective, Commercial Flight Medevac is less expensive compared to Air Ambulance Medevac.
- Air Ambulance – Medevac
Compared to Commercial Flight Medevac, Air Ambulance Medevac gives patients more space, privacy, and comfort during the transfer. From technical perspective, Air Ambulance Medevac also takes less time to arrange, around 24 hours, and it can fly in lower altitudes (though the flight will be longer). However, this type of medevac is not likely recommended for patients with mild to moderate health problems due to its high cost.
- Helicopter/ Chopper – Medevac
Helicopter/ Chopper Medevac is probably the fastest way to evacuate a patient and more suitable for evacuation with high urgency with short travel distances. For instance, a patient who got in a surfing accident in G-Land Banyuwangi needs to be evacuated immediately to the nearest hospital in Surabaya or Bali. This type of medevac will be the most suitable, as it gives more flexibility regarding its place to land and take off. It also takes a shorter time to arrange, around 5-7 hours, and the cost is less pricey than Air Ambulance Medevac. The downside is, Helicopter Medevac gives limited space for the patient and the medical team.
- Fast Boat – Medevac
Not only helicopters and planes, but Medevacs can also be performed by fast boats. Similar to Helicopter/ Chopper Medevac, Fast Boat Medevac is usually chosen to evacuate an injured person from one island to another island with a more adequate medical facility faster. For instance, a person is injured during a holiday in Nusa Penida Island and needs to be admitted to a hospital in Denpasar. Fast Boat Medevac costs less than Helicopter and Air Ambulance medevacs, it also takes only 5-7 hours to arrange.
- Ground Ambulance – Medevac
Other than fast boats, the other alternative for medevac is a Ground Ambulance Medevac. Ground Ambulance Medevac can be recommended for patients with mild to severe health conditions. From cost perspective, this type of medevac can be the least expensive compared to the other types of medevac. It takes only 5-7 hours to arrange and the legal documents needed are less complex than the others. However, Ground Ambulance Medevac takes longer duration as well as more limited in terms of travel distance (only within the country).
When and why do you need a Medevac?
A medevac is usually performed to transfer a patient with certain health problems and needs the provision of a medical team and medical equipment during the transfer, which of course, this condition will be based on a doctor’s recommendation. A medevac provider usually provides a bed-to-bed service, therefore, the relatives or the family of the patients do not need to worry about the administrative as well as the technical stuff, as the medevac provider will be the one who handles it all. If the patient has Travel Insurance that covers Medevac, the medevac provider will also help with the claim.
Why PENTA Medica?
PENTA Medica has more than 17 years of experience in Medical Evacuation using all of the options above, including handling insurance claims. We also have a complete, professional, and experienced medical team that would do the work and put our patients or their relatives/families at ease.
Should you need a consultation on medevac options, costs, insurance coverage, as well as medical recommendation, please do not hesitate to contact our CALL CENTER at (+62) 361 490 709, our team will be happy to assist you.