Companies working in Africa ensure their staff are covered for medical emergencies by using the air evacuation experts, Aeroworx.
Africa offers huge opportunities for companies keen to make the most of the continent’s enormous resources and willing workforce. Yet very few African countries have medical facilities that modern companies and employees expect. What might be a minor medical incident in Europe or north America, can turn rapidly into an emergency in Africa.
This is a predicament that Dominique Ferreira is all too familiar with. South African by birth, Dominique now works in Madagascar as Chief Financial Controller for Ferris Engineering. “The medical situation on this island is not great. The hospitals are really not good. So, ex-pats and anyone who can afford it, go to somewhere like South Africa for any serious treatment.”
That may be acceptable for a planned procedure but an air evacuation for a medical emergency is a different matter. It’s an incredibly expensive process, starting at about $30,000 from Madagascar – and that doesn’t include any medical expenses. That’s why responsible employers such as Ferris Engineering want policies that will cover their staff in a medical emergency.
“In Madagascar, there is a huge demand from ex-pats and their companies for medical cover. It’s a big priority to have that back up,” explains Dominique. “We feel very fortunate to have found Aeroworx. I must be honest, when we first joined, the signing up process was so easy and straightforward, I didn’t really believe it! All my previous experiences of applying for medical insurance policies have been terrifyingly difficult.”
With their employees covered, Dominique finally had peace of mind. But the real test of any insurance policy is when a crisis hits.
“We had our first experience of using Aeroworx’s air evacuation services when one of our site managers had symptoms of pancreatitis,” recalls Dominique. “The doctors in Madagascar couldn’t help him so we emailed Graham at Aeroworx to notify him of the situation.”
Dominique continues: “From there, it was absolutely seamless. He quickly set up a WhatsApp group for everyone involved, including the employee’s wife in South Africa. Graham just needed the doctors’ reports and didn’t mind that they were in French and Malagasy. Within 18 hours, the plane was there and it was wheels up, with the patient on their way to treatment. It was unbelievable.”
The value for Ferris Engineering has been enormous. “I don’t want to lay it on too thick,” says Dominique, “but every cent we pay is worth it. We have had three incidents now where Aeroworx have assisted us and each of them has been absolutely amazing. We know that if anything ever happens to one of our guys, we can contact Graham or Gravans and they will assist us immediately.”
The air evacuation policies can start as low as $30 a month and the Aeroworx team are happy to tailor packages so that companies can cover the whole workforce or just particular colleagues.
The admiration for Aeroworx runs in the family it seems; Dominique’s brother Derrick is the co-founder and Managing Director of Ferris Engineering and is also a convert. “Derrick tells every ex-pat he meets, ‘If you’ve just arrived in Madagascar, you need to get Aeroworx’s cover.’ He doesn’t even wait for the topic to come up – he’s the loudest mouth and their biggest champion in Madagascar!” Dominique laughs.
“To be serious for a moment, though,” says Dominique, “that’s the way it should be. If you do your work that well, your customers will tell everybody. Having a medical emergency policy is so important here, you need that peace of mind. With Aeroworx, that’s exactly what you have.”