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13 June 2023

What is repatriation to the UK?

What is repatriation? UK citizens generally think in terms of someone returning to their country of origin. In fact, this is exactly what repatriation means – but it needn’t be after years of living abroad; for travellers, it can also mean medical repatriation.

UK citizens who travel abroad – either for business or pleasure – need to be sure they’re covered for illness and injury. But what if the condition is so severe they need to get back to Britain for treatment? Then, they or their insurance company can arrange repatriation to the UK through an air ambulance company like us at IAS Medical.

We are the leading air ambulance company in Europe, providing a fully approved, professional service to all UK citizens needing to be repatriated from abroad. We work closely with insurance companies and private individuals – including those with no travel insurance – to ensure the patient’s medical needs are covered every step of the way. We also offer our services to the NHS, private hospitals, the MOD, the British government and foreign embassies.

Travellers are reminded to check their travel insurance covers them for all emergencies, including medical repatriation. However in the event that you are not, you’ll be surprised to discover private air ambulances are more affordable than you think. Staffed by experienced, aero qualified doctors and nurses and equipped with a full range of cutting-edge medical equipment, they are the most appropriate solution for critically ill patients in need of urgent medical care.

However, for patients with less serious medical concerns we at IAS Medical do offer other alternatives, such as commercial airliner stretcher repatriation to UK airports. Patients get airport-to-hospital ambulance service at both airports, plus extras like ticketing; visa application and pre-flight medical clearance. Medical escorts can also accompany patients with very minor conditions on normal scheduled flights. This is the cheapest and most basic form of repatriation to the UK, but includes basic medical checks and that all-important element: patient support.