How can EMS help us get treatment abroad?

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How can EMS help us get treatment abroad?

Medical tourism” – where patients travel overseas for a treatment, or a quality of healthcare, that isn’t available in their own country – is a huge growth industry.

The organization Patients Beyond Borders calculates that over 21 million people went abroad for medical treatment in 2019. And, as the world returns to normal post-COVID, those numbers are only likely to increase. They estimate that the market for medical tourism is expanding by something like 15-25 percent every year.

The problem

But does that mean it’s easy to organise a medically-related trip overseas? Unfortunately not – and there are three main reasons for that:

  1. Location – finding the right clinical centre, consultants and country for your patient’s care can be extremely difficult if you haven’t done it before (which, let’s be fair, is most people)
  2. Flights – many patients can’t fly without medical supervision during the journey – either legally, or because it would be unsafe for them to do so
  3. Ground transport – many patients also need a proper road ambulance for their connections between airports, both at home and in the destination country

The solution – we can help!

If you’re looking to help a friend or family member get treatment abroad, we completely understand how stressful and overwhelming that can be. The good news is that EMS is set up to handle the whole process for you. Here’s how we do it…


What kind of treatment does your patient need – is it for cancer, for something cardiovascular, for a neurological condition, or for something else? Have you heard about a particular technique or medication you’d like them to access? Where in the world are you likely to find that specific treatment, and how much would it cost? We can help you answer all these questions. If you call EMS, we’ll put you through to one of our in-house doctors, so you’re speaking to someone who understands medicine. And if we think it would be better for you to talk directly to a specialist, we can arrange that too. We have a comprehensive database of medical centres around the world – in the US, Germany, the UK and so on – and have worked with many of them as well.


Once you’ve narrowed down your options, the EMS “ops” team can help you plan and manage the next steps. One of our most important roles is to liaise with hospitals at home and abroad. So we can speak directly to your patient’s current medical team, and then contact the destination clinic or hospital department to describe your patient’s situation, the treatment they’re seeking, and how soon they would need to get started. Once your patient has been accepted by the destination hospital, the ops team can make sure you – and anyone travelling with you – is booked into high-quality accommodation for the duration of the trip. We can also provide translation of key documents, and interpretation services if you think you’ll struggle to understand the foreign doctors.


Getting patients across the world quickly and safely is the heart of EMS’s business – we live and breathe medical transports! If you need to move very fast, we can have an ambulance team on their way within hours. If the timescale isn’t so urgent, we’ll put together a schedule that works around you and your family’s schedule. We can handle every part of the journey for you – travel passes, border permits (including Visa-on-Arrival), the medical transport document (MTD), and all your luggage needs. We’ll also make sure your patient is travelling to and from the foreign hospital with the right medical backup – that means anything from a medical escort to assist them on a regular commercial flight, right up to a high-care air ambulance if they need ICU-level inflight care from a team of paramedics or specialist doctors. Between planes and clinics, we can also provide medically-secure road transport by ground ambulance – delivering your patient all the way through hospital intake to their departmental bed.

Need more advice? We’re here for you

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you with your medical tourism trip – or even if it’s right for your patient and their current circumstances – just drop us a line and we’ll be glad to help. We’re available 24/7, wherever you are in the world, and we’ll be pleased to link you up with one of our medical advisors or operational managers. Head to our Contact page for all the details. You can also get a free, no-obligation cost estimate for your repatriation with our online pricing calculator.

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