4 Myths About Medical Repatriation You Should Know

Medical repatriation is defined as the transfer of patients in need of chronic care to their home country. However, it is a much more complex subject than a simple definition. Many myths exist regarding the subject, making the process a confusing and sometimes scary prospect. However, it is important to understand the truth behind the myths in order to seek medical services and know your rights as a patient.

Myth #1: There Is No Difference Between Medical Repatriation and Medical Evacuation

While there are a few similarities between medical repatriation and medical evacuations, they are in fact two different procedures. Unfortunately, it is easy to confuse the two – especially for non-English speaking patients. Medical evacuation services an individual who suffers a life-threatening emergency and needs immediate transport to a medical facility. It is especially common when a patient needs to transfer to a more specialized or advanced facility. Meanwhile, patients qualifying for medical repatriation do not need to be in critical condition. The repatriation process provides medical services for immigrants in their home country where they can receive quality treatment at a fraction of the cost of American hospitals.

Myth #2: Medical Repatriation is Only for Undocumented Immigrants

In light of today’s immigration reform, it is understandable that people are skeptical about what a procedure like medical repatriation means for undocumented immigrants. However, undocumented immigrants are not the only group undergoing medical repatriation. Both legal immigrants and tourists benefit from the process as well. This may be due to the existence of more appropriate facilities in a patient’s home country.

Myth #3: Medical Repatriation is Concretely Unethical

The conversation surrounding medical repatriation typically poses the question of whether it is an ethical process. Although instances of forced or coerced deportation exist, only a portion of immigrants reaps the benefits of medical repatriation. Rather than not receiving treatment due to lack of insurance, immigrants receive the medical assistance they need. Additionally, hospitals avoid the financial burden of treating uninsured patients and instead are able to locate programs and resources that will benefit them in the long term.

Myth #4: American Facilities are Better for All Patients

Although many American hospitals offer excellent care and programs for patients, they are not the only quality options. Services exist to find the best care available in Mexico and other countries. There, immigrants can concentrate on getting well in a familiar place surrounded by family. If they may not have insurance in America, there may be specific, high-quality treatment elsewhere at an affordable cost.

Let Allista Help You Through the Medical Repatriation Process

Allista is a reputable health care liaison that connects patients to health care providers that have the best-suited treatment plans to meet their needs. Through our partnership with Hospital en Casa and Americas Hospital in Mexico, we are able to improve the lives of medically-deported immigrants by making sure they receive the care they need.