“The war in Ukraine is a brutal crisis that lasts over time »
In the event of a medical evacuation from a risk area, particularly in Ukraine, International SOS takes action according to a bespoked protocol. Given the context in Ukraine, there is no standard plan of action. International SOS teams propose solutions on a case-by-case basis according to the information they have in real time, up to the moment. They always try to propose a medical evacuation plan based on the precise information available to them.
How to evacuate an employee from Ukraine
Very few medical evacuations in Ukraine are done by sea or air, almost all evacuations are operated by road. This depends on traffic conditions, road conditions, whether there are roadblocks, etc., and, of course, on the patient’s health state . International SOS security team will be responsible for securing the route and ensuring maximum safety for the medical team and the patient.
Medical Evacuation and network in Ukraine
Ukrainian hospitals located in the war zone in eastern Ukraine can only provide stabilisation medicine. Their capacity is very uncertain.
Hospitals located in the Centre and West areas operate “normally”. They can perform emergency surgeries and have the necessary equipments and medical teams. They could, for example, take you in for heart surgery if you need it. However for less serious health issues(e.g. cruciate ligaments) you will not be treated. In this case, it is advisable to organise a repatriation to your country of origin so that you can receive this type of care.
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How are healthcare providers chosen ?
International SOS uses a variety of methods to ensure that we know which medical providers to use: They rely on the expertise of the 27 International SOS centers around the world, which know and monitor the medical providers in their geographical area.
They have a dedicated partnership team to monitor these providers. On-site visits, approximately 7/8 trips per year, allow them to visit and audit the various providers to ensure that standards are being met, the quality of services is being maintained, and that the staff are competent. The aim is also to discuss with the hospital’s referral doctor, known as the “consulting doctor” who is the person in contact with International SOS.
They also collect feedback from patients who have been treated by the network’s medical providers. Their feedback is important: evaluation of care, services, etc. In the event of negative feedback, the International SOS Partnerships team checks with the provider and may decide to remove the facility from the network if there are serious shortcomings or negatives changes.
How are Security providers chosen ?
For security providers, International SOS relies on an internal database of local companies specialised in security:
This tool is updated thanks to regular audit visits and updates by the security teams of the five International SOS regional security centers, which feed the database. The quality approach applied to this network ensures that reliable resources are available to teams wherever our members are present.
In Ukraine, as in other areas of operation, psychological support is important for humanitarian workers. In the event of a serious situation, the employee must be able to freely call on a psychologist and count on rapid support.
Psychological support provides the employee with support from the very beginning of a traumatic event and helps, as far as possible, to avoid a deterioration in the patient’s condition, which could be harmful to his or her mental or physical health.
This rapid support also allows to limit any negative impact on the rest of the colleagues in the field and thus support the whole mission.
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