Do I need medical insurance?
Answer: None required, though the company does bill insurance companies when coverage exists. This helps fund flights for Hospital del Nino. If we do bill your insurance company, you are not required to pay anything other than the membership fee.
Do air ambulance flights operate 24 hours a day?
Answer: No. At this time, most airports are not operating 24 hours per day. Most are daylight hours only. Sunrise to sunset is the general rule for flying in Panama.
Are you a first response/Life Flight operation?
Answer: No. We can arrange transport for seriously ill pre-stabilized patients. Life Flight operations require dedicated equipment, and most important, dedicated flight crews for that important mission. The cost of a dedicated helicopter is also an important consideration.
How long does it take to get me back from __________?
Answer: Weather variables aside, it takes roughly 20 minutes to configure the aircraft. Flights times are 1.3 to 1.5 hours to Bocas for example, and another 1.3 hours for the return flight. 10 to 20 minutes to a hospital of your choice.
What qualifies as a medical flight?
Answer: Medical necessity dictates eligibility for a flight. Generally, if the patient can sit on a commercial flight for three hours, they are not considered an eligible patient. However, Panama’s medical system does not have consistent coverage. Some areas lack even basic care. This type of situation is part of the decision process for a flight. There are cases where a simple injury quickly develops complications and requires transport back to Panama City or David.
Who makes the medical decision for a flight?
Answer: A licensed Panamanian medical doctor with aviation medicine experience along with the attending doctor, if there is one. The final medical decision is made by a flight qualified doctor.
Can family members accompany the patient?
Answer: Passengers are not allowed for patient and flight crew safety. In certain cases, children younger than 2 years old may accompany a parent if no other option exists and the aircraft has seats available. Safety is always the first priority. International flights may allow passengers.
Do you have helicopters?
Answer: No. Helicopters with a medical interior installed are very close to being a first response type of aircraft. As such, they could be flown in situations that cross some lines we simply choose not to for safety reasons. Our belief is that helicopters are a great tool if you have dedicated aircraft and most important, the dedicated, highly trained and experienced crews for the mission.