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Medical Repatriation Defined

“Medical Repatriation” is the voluntary international transfer of a patient to family or a medical facility in the patient’s home country that can provide appropriate care as confirmed through due diligence and informed consent by the patient or on the patient's behalf by the patient's surrogate or legal representative beforehand, be it family or a legal guardian.   


Medical Repatriation

  • Does:  Internationally transfer medically stable non-acute patients ready for discharge to a responsible caregiver back home.

  • Does Serve the best interests of the patient, or it is not a an option.

  • Does Require informed consent and is voluntary.

  • Does Eliminate the hardship of a patient living and dying alone in what is to them a foreign hospital in the U.S. without the prospect of family visits and limited communication in their home language.

  • Does Require due diligence regarding the service providers, and foreign medical facility or family care.

  • Does Provide better conditions for the psychological, emotional, and physical care of patients who are able to be with family, communicate readily in their home language and culture, have more frequent access to rehabilitative care than a typical U.S. acute care hospital can provide.

  • Does: Result in being significantly more cost effective than providing long-term care in an acute care hospital facility. 

  • Does Lessen the risk of legal liability for the U.S. hospital for its uninsured foreign patients.

Aligning the Best Interests of Hospital and Patient

Medical Repatriation

  • Does not:  Happen involuntarily -- That's Medical Deportation or even kidnapping!  

  • Does not:  Occur without proper due diligence of the care to be provided in the receiving country.

  • Does not:  Happen unless there is full and proper informed consent.

  • Does not:  Leave the patient worse off rather than better off.

  • Does not:  Increase the risk of legal liability for a hospital rather than significantly lessen or end it entirely.

  • Does not:  Cost more than hospital care for an indefinitely long term for a patient ready for discharge or transfer to family or a facility able to provide a lesser level of care or rehabilitation.

  • Does not:  Occur without proper coordination with foreign consular authorities.

  • Does not:  Always result as the most appropriate solution to every case for uninsured, undocumented immigrant patients. That is why due diligence is required.

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