Last newsletter & blog we featured some questions and answers from our UK, US and SA Agents & Clients… This time Garth Jenman answers some more tough questions – specifically related to emergencies, air-lifts and medical treatment!
How would medical emergencies be handled? In the case of an emergency – would there be a helicopter? Would I be evacuated out of there as I don’t think that Zimbabwean hospitals would be great…? For emergencies and evacuations we recommend that our clients use MARS (Medical air rescue services)…
MARS requires a nominal daily charge (per person) over and above any other travel insurance and guarantees immediate response & action! While you are getting urgent treatment your international medical insurance might still be going through the approval procedure. MARS has an excellent track record; they have stabilized and evacuated people with ease in the past! On the private practice side; Zimbabwe has some very good doctors and many of them have been trained overseas, and some of them are very highly thought of! Accessing one of these doctors won’t prove to be a problem if there is an emergency.
There are surprisingly good medical facilities, doctors and emergency evacuation services in Zimbabwe, as long as you have proper medical insurance which covers private facilities and services you won’t have a problem. When it comes to critical hospital care, however, the best thing is evacuation to a good South African hospital.
Our General Advice:
1. Clients should have an International Medical Insurance package which includes emergency evacuation to a South Africa hospital
2. If they are travelling to remote areas in Zimbabwe, they should also purchase an emergency (pre hospital) air & road ambulance rescue package via Zimbabwe’s Medical Air Rescue Service (MARS).
So to answer you question – in the case of an emergency private hospitals in Zimbabwe are in great condition with a renowned staff of medical practitioners, specialists and surgeons. With the correct international travel insurance and MARS cover air rescue and ambulances are possible.
We have a set of procedures in place in case anything does happen to one of our clients on a safari in Zimbabwe, we are prepared to handle it and believe that emergencies can be handled quickly with care in Zimbabwe.
I would want to be evacuated from Zimbabwe immediately if something was to go wrong (political situation) – would you be able to handle this? If something was to go wrong in Zimbabwe evacuation would occur in the same process as if it was a medical emergency. With the correct international travel insurance and MARS cover, air rescue is possible for an emergency evacuation.
Most places where we visit were NEVER fully affected by the past politics but in the case of the unexpected we have contingency plans in place to deal with such crisis.
If medical help is needed what is the state of medicine and antibiotics? In the more developed and urbanised cities (like Bulawayo and Harare) there are private hospitals which have a great selection of antibiotics and medicine… Our safari vehicle is also equipped with a first aid medical bag which contains the basic necessities for any injuries or minor health concerns. But there are surprisingly good medical facilities, doctors and medicine available in Zimbabwe.
With contingency plans and the correct cover (like most African countries require) you should have no worries in Zimbabwe… Leave us a comment!