Are you setting up a new office in a country with poor healthcare? Are you adding a new port to your shipping itineraries and want to understand the options In case of a medical emergency? MedResQ can help. 

Over the past 20 years, global access to healthcare has improved significantly by nearly all measures. However, the accurate picture is complex, and in many countries, accessing quality healthcare comes at a high cost, making it only available to the fortunate few. In regions such as West Africa and the Caribbean, modern private clinics have been advertising the latest medical technology and facilities. However, beneath the shiny exterior, there often needs to be more highly trained and experienced medical staff to deliver the services advertised.   

Here are some of our essential advice and key considerations when dealing with medical incidents in such destinations. 

Research & Planning – Prior planning and understanding of the local healthcare capabilities in operations are essential. Medical emergencies present quickly and often without warning, so having a medical management plan will ensure that patients are managed most quickly and appropriately. MedResQ can support its clients in creating a site-specific medical management plan, including preferred local medical facilities and evacuation points.  

Gathering Medical Information – Once a patient has presented with a condition and has been initially triaged by a local medical facility, collecting the information and understanding the nature and risks presented by the condition is essential. Local clinics may have limited diagnostic and imaging, and doctors may not be able to understand the true extent of a condition fully. The medical team at MedResQ are experts in gathering information and advising clients on the likely risks and outcomes of an emerging condition. They also advise whether it is appropriate to continue to manage a patient locally or whether a higher level of care is indicated.  

Time-Critical Interventions – Some immediately life-threatening conditions, such as major trauma or a Cardiac or Neurological event, will be highly time-critical and early interventions are essential to ensure the best outcomes for the patient. You must seek specialist advice as soon as a severe medical case presents, without waiting and relying on local doctors to suggest a management plan. Our medical team can quickly identify such cases and establish a plan to evacuate to the nearest centre of medical excellence. There may be options available locally, or the patient may require an emergency air ambulance transfer to another country. 

Evacuation Points – Identifying evacuation points as part of a medical management plan can mean the difference between life and death. Often, the nearest evacuation point will be across borders in countries with poor healthcare. MedResQ may recommend different evacuation points depending on the nature of the condition and specialities required. Less complex conditions, such as fractures requiring fixation or routine surgeries such as appendectomy, may be suitable for domestic management in a major city or a neighbouring country. Complex cases may need to be transferred across multiple borders to a specialist multidisciplinary centre with full capabilities. 

Logistics, Visas and Immigration – Moving critically ill patients across borders can be a complex challenge, and a thorough understanding of the logistics and immigration requirements is critical to avoiding unnecessary delays. The patient’s nationality may also affect whether the receiving country will accept them. Emergency medical visas can often be obtained; however, knowing the correct application process and channels to get these is key. Hospital admissions must also be quickly arranged to ensure that the receiving hospital can accommodate and manage the patient without delay. The MedResQ team will liaise with all parties to ensure smooth transfer and admission for each patient.  


Managing medical emergencies in areas with limited or poor quality healthcare requires a tremendous amount of experience and specialist medical and logistics knowledge. MedResQ’s 24/7 medical operations team is well-rehearsed in managing such eventualities and remains ready to support you. Being proactive is vital, and discussing the options with us before an emergency presents itself will save time if a case presents. In many circumstances, time can make all the difference.  

MedResQ’s medical and travel risk management specialists have decades of experience managing medical cases in remote and challenging destinations. You can contact our medical ops team on E-mail –  or by phone – +44(0)2087060810