Visa, Communication and Medical Challenges
A 67-year-old Chinese national suffered respiratory failure while transiting from the USA to Beijing via Abu Dhabi. After extended treatment in the UAE, the patient, mechanically ventilated through a tracheostomy, was conscious and confined to bed, necessitating a stretcher transfer on a passenger flight from Dubai to Beijing.
Beyond medical complexities, navigating post-pandemic China’s strict visa regulations mandating a transit visa for the medical team, securing written acceptance from the receiving hospital (necessary for airline permissions) and ensuring a hospital bed upon the patient’s arrival, altogether presented a unique challenge.
Overcoming Visa Restrictions
Urgency demanded a deviation from the standard visa processing time. With China discontinuing on-arrival visas and transit visas, except for some nationalities and specific countries, post-COVID, the team strategically pursued a multi-country transit route: from Dubai to Beijing, Hong Kong, and back to Dubai. This helped secure an on-arrival transit visa for the medical team in Beijing, ensuring a smooth patient handover and minimizing travel time.
Obtaining Hospital Acceptance
Obtaining a written acceptance letter from the receiving hospital proved challenging. Instead, they provided verbal confirmation along with the details of the admitting team. A formal acceptance letter and assurance of a hospital bed upon arrival were essential for the patient’s safety and continuity of care, as well as for the airlines to confirm the patient’s eligibility to fly.
A Chinese-speaking liaison was appointed to communicate effectively with the airline, admitting hospital, and ground ambulance team. The medical coordinator served as the point of contact, ensuring all necessary arrangements for the patient’s transfer were in place. A detailed written documentation outlining arrangements and contact details was prepared instead of the formal acceptance letter. The airlines verified this information and granted confirmation for the medical team to fly with the patient.
By devising a creative travel itinerary and appointing a dedicated medical coordinator, the team successfully navigated visa restrictions and hospital acceptance hurdles, emphasizing the significance of adaptability in such critical scenarios. To know more about Bluedot missions, and how we can help you plan a successful medical transfer, contact us 24 hours via WhatsApp or phone on: + 971 551 881 441