The following summarises the various direct factors affecting Aeroworx as a result of the Coronavirus Covid-19. It contains information on the legal position of our medical evacuation contracts and begins to address how we will deal with operational aspects. We will continue to communicate as information comes to light to the extent that it is unique to our situation.
It is our view that expert information is available through the World Health Organisation (https://www.who.int/) and governments in the regions in which we operate.
Aeroworx – Emergency medical evacuation and hospitalisation
Aeroworx – Emergency medical evacuation and hospitalisation policy contains a COVID-19 virus pandemic exclusion. This means that all claims arising from or related to the Coronavirus / Covid-19 will not be met.
The policy terms and conditions have been updated to the extent that each policy does not include cover for the costs of medication, consultations, pathology, radiology and hospitalisation and these would also apply in the case of suspected and confirmed cases of
COVID-19 virus at contracted network providers post evacuation.
Where a member believes they have contracted the Covid-19 virus they should consult their local public health guidance protocols in the first instance and should NOT seek face to face medical services unless specifically instructed to do so. Local medical
practitioners and public health officials will direct members to suitable medical facilities.
Normal rules will also apply to possible evacuation cases where these are included in the policy terms and conditions and if someone falls ill and cannot get treatment locally. However, the restrictions and bans on international travel may affect any international evacuations
We will continue to treat all evacuations cases in the usual way to ensure that, where evacuation is medically necessary; members receive treatment in appropriate facilities and that our administration partner MSO International assist in planning the appropriate travel to the nearest centre of medical excellence taking into account any travel restrictions.
We will however be bound to comply with local protocol in respect of testing and treatment of Covid-19 which may require members to comply with Government protocols, irrespective their membership of private healthcare.
Any aeromedical evacuation of a patient that has confirmed or a suspected COVID-19 infection will be undertaken with involvement and under guidance from the relevant authorities in South Africa (NICD, Port Health (DOH) and the receiving hospital and doctor). According to the information we have, it is very unlikely that a foreign national will be allowed entry into the receiving country with a confirmed infection.
Our patient and companion assessment procedures preflight have had to be adapted especially in the case of a patient with a respiratory infection and/or fever. This is likely to lengthen our activation time and we will require more detailed information and cooperation from referring hospitals and doctors. Should a patient be classified as medium to high risk the involvement from NICD and Port Health will cause further delays.
Regarding resources, we are unable to transport a patient requiring full isolation in the aircraft however note that this will not always be necessary as we have isolation pods available and will be subject to the assessments on a case by case basis. We do have all other required personal protective equipment.
We continue to monitor the situation and the required capabilities which is currently very fluid and may require our position to change at short notice.