After a medical evacuation the patient will have a good chance of finding himself in a foreign hospital in an unknown port. It is therefore essential that the shipping company is informed by the organisations involved in the medical evacuation as to where/in which hospital the patient is delivered. The employer may or may not have a regular shipping agent in that particular port but may otherwise appoint one ad hoc to serve the interests of the seafarer. A number of issues may need to be taken care of such as:
- Warranty or pre-payment of the hospital costs
- Liaison with the patient’s shipping company and next-of-kin while is in hospital
- Arranging for the transportation back home once the treatment in hospital is terminated. This may again imply a “medical transport”.
Medical decisions taken in hospital must take into account the possibilities of follow-up treatment in the seafarer’s country of residence. This is often a developing nation in which the medical facilities may sometimes be less than is realised by the treating doctors in hospital. Rehabilitation after extensive surgical procedures, medical treatment (such as HIV medication) which will need to be taken for a longer time, to name a few examples, are issues that must be taken in view when planning the return home.