It is vital for expats living in less hospitable locations to have comprehensive medical insurance as the case of a reforestation expert shows.
Mr. Knowles, in his early sixties, was fit and healthy but started feeling unwell one morning while working in Afghanistan. Following normal procedures, using his international healthcare policy, he contacted his insurer MediCare International who arranged for him to be taken in the first instance to see a local doctor.
They carried out a number of tests but were unable to diagnose the problem. Mr. Knowles’ condition ten began to deteriorate further, so after a further call to Medicare International’s 24 hour Assistance Provider an evacuation was arranged to Dubai where a more sophisticated diagnosis could take place.
Dubai was chosen as is the nearest country with world class healthcare facilities and Mr. Knowles was rushed to the diagnostics department at one of its leading hospitals. After an extensive examination, he was found to have severe carbon monoxide poisoning, thought to have been caused by a faulty water heater in his accommodation.
In a strange twist of fate, the same tests also uncovered severe blockage of the arteries, which led to Mr. Knowles needing urgent triple heart by-pass surgery.
The total cost of this life saving treatment was close to £60,000, which included a flight back to Afghanistan for Mr. Knowles after he had recovered so he could continue with his environmental reconstruction work.
‘This remarkable story demonstrates the importance of having high quality comprehensive medical insurance when expatriates are working in some of the most difficult terrains. In this instance, purely by chance, the doctors were able to find and diagnose a life threatening issue which would probably never have been found if Mr. Knowles had stayed in Afghanistan as he had no idea just how ill he was,’ said David Pryor, senior executive director at Medicare International.
The well being of our policyholders is our prime concern and we will always do our utmost to ensure they receive the best treatment wherever they are in the world at any time of the day or night. Our ability to offer insurance cover in this kind of passive war environment was also critical as many policies would not have been able to do this. We were delighted to have been able to provide assistance in returning him back to Afghanistan to continue his valuable work in the region,’ he added.