Real help, real fast – wherever you are, with ER24 Global Assist

Posted on 8 January 2019

There is a lot more to ER24 than branded ambulances and rapid-response vehicles. ER24 Global Assist offers a unique, crucial service: facilitating urgent flights for patients abroad.

ER24’s network of clinical emergency care is expanding.

Currently, the experts in emergency medicine provide over 900 emergency staff and 300 rapid response vehicles and ambulances, mobilised from 59 branches across 8 provinces in SA. The dedicated 24-hour emergency contact centre has over 200 agents in various divisions on standby.

But that’s not all. ER24 also provides a dedicated aeromedical evacuation service.

Patients in remote locations can make contact with ER24 via the 24-hour international flight desk, which facilitates flights. The dedicated case-management team ensures that each case is pro-actively handled to facilitate and coordinate the care of the patient from the time of the request, through to the completion of the case.

ER24 Global Assist is a separate service from HEMS. Whereas ER24 does offer a fully equipped helicopter EMS division, Global Assist provides patients with access to aircraft and jets capable of travelling long distances and across borders.

“Client focus and patient safety are at the core of our business,” says Ben Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of ER24. “Our Global Assist division aims to provide access to safe, quality healthcare in a patient-friendly environment, for both the pre- and in-hospital clinical environments.”

ER24 Global Assist offers an integrated service, including access to the Mediclinic network of facilities in South Africa, Namibia, Dubai and Switzerland. It also offers aeromedical services and site-based medical services.

Patients and clients also have access to medical concierge services, medical case management, cost containment and international patient management, through ER24’s network partners.

While the perception may be that ER24 Global Assist is a service designed for VIP patients only, in reality, this is not the case, says Zamokuhle Aja-Okorie, marketing and communications manager of the service. “We have had a range of individual patients, and many of our patients are also referred to us by clients, such as travel insurance companies,” she says. “Other clients include mines, medical aids, banks, farmers, government embassies – the list goes on.”

She points to two recent events that showcase the value of this service. “We recently flew a patient from Upington to Cape Town for treatment. That patient is not necessarily affluent, but they were on medical aid, and required treatment at a centre of excellence, hence the evacuation.”

Another recent case involved an indigent patient who was working on-site in Zambia. She was run over by a construction truck and flown into South Africa for treatment at Mediclinic Sandton.

ER24’s fleet of aircraft is fully configured with critical care equipment, featuring state-of-the-art technology to ensure effective patient care at all times. The aircraft are staffed with ER24 paramedics, doctors and nurses with extensive training and experience in emergency medicine. The aeromedical team is capable of facilitating the mobilisation of patients within 120 minutes of flight activation.

ER24 Global Assist patients and clients have access to the deployment of four pressurised aircraft: Dassault Falcon 50EX Jet, Dassault Falcon 20 Jet, Cessna Citation V Jet and the Beechcraft King Air 200.

These aircraft are managed by Guardian Air, ER24’s medical evacuation service provider. ER24’s fixed-wing aircraft division is based at Lanseria Airport, outside Johannesburg.

“The successful operation of our aeromedical service in the challenging environment of the African continent is made possible through the investment in training and support for our entire team of professionals,” says Simon Fourie, director of Guardian Air.

Published in Business