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Expat Investor : January February 2009
HEALTHCARE Sending out an SOS In July 2006, Israel bombed all three runways at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport, in reprisal for an incursion by Hezbollah guerrillas and the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers, signalling the start of a large-scale military operation in Lebanon. International SOS diaries how it rescued 345 people in a major evacuation operation. risk assessment of different land routes and put in place the logistics to mount a road convoy. Reception teams are established in Beirut, Damascus and Larnaca, Cyprus. 15 July 10.21 GMT All members are advised to leave the country, providing the risk is less than standing fast, and to make contact for assistance with evacuation. International SOS provides this diary describing how 345 members were evacuated out of the Lebanon, and approximately 2,000 people were medically escorted from Cyprus and Turkey to Australia, thanks to a dedicated team of 50 staff, across four International SOS’ international alarm centres, and 40 staff on the ground in Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus, working around the clock. The case for emergency evacuation cover has never been put so strongly. 13 July 07.27 GMT As soon as the bombing takes place, an International SOS Security Warning is communicated to all clients, with full analysis of the situation and advice to members located in Lebanon. Meanwhile, security specialists provide support to worried clients. 13 July 08.00 GMT Spread across the world, International SOS security, medical and client account management teams assess the situation and its impact on clients. There is a 300 per cent increase in log-ins to the company’s Traveller Locator Service (TLS), an internet based service enabling clients to proactively track their travellers. 13 July 11.00 GMT The earlier warning is raised to a full security alert, as Israel threatens to target Hezbollah headquarters in southern Beirut and imposes a naval blockade in Lebanese territorial waters. International SOS clients are advised to stand fast for up to 72 hours and prepare for evacuation by pulling together a ‘grab bag’ (passport, papers, mobile phone and valuables). 13 July 11.45 GMT International SOS security, medical and administrative staff from across the world begin their coordinated response, including on-the-ground deployment and the acquisition of wide-bodied aircraft. Account management teams proactively contact clients with personnel in the region. 14 July Security specialists travel overland to Beirut and commence preparations for evacuation. Working with expert local partners, they identify hotel and transport options; conduct a full 15 July 14.00 UTC International SOS carries out first road evacuation of 30 people from Beirut to Damascus. Travel specialists help co-ordinate onward journeys, through Alarm Centres in London, Paris and Sydney. 16 July Following a second road evacuation to Damascus with 79 passengers, 51 members continue their evacuation by air to Larnaca, Cyprus, aboard a chartered Boeing 737-300. 17 July International SOS staff set up an alarm centre in Cyprus, to provide additional local support to the ground operations team in Beirut and Damascus. They also support operations which are being provided to UK’s Foreign &Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). 17 July–4 August International SOS Medical escort teams, a total of 18 doctors and nurses, provide medical in-flight assistance to evacuees being flown back by DFAT in charter aircraft to Australia. Six Boeing 747 flights take place, each with at least one doctor and 2–3 nurses. An International SOS team – 12 staff comprising doctors, nurses and administrative staff – provide support to the FCO’s ...with InterGlobal’s wellness benefits. Get routine health checks on our UltraCare Comprehensive and Plus plans without affecting your no claims discount. operation to evacuate UK nationals from Lebanon to Limassol, Cyprus. Working closely with the Navy and other military personnel, the medical teams undertake medical triage to ensure evacuees receive appropriate medical care on arrival. 19 July Third road evacuation takes place. A convoy comprising 10 buses, with another 114 members, are taken overland from Beirut to Damascus. Many evacuees are families and students studying at the American University in Beirut. Colouring books and pencils are provided to the children to ease the long journey. 21 July International SOS charters a Boeing 737-400 to fly one corporation’s 41 employees out of Syria to Cyprus. 22 July Airlifted by the military from Lebanon to Cyprus, International SOS deploys a dedicated air ambulance to transport a critically injured client from Cyprus to Frankfurt and then on a scheduled flight to Sydney. A doctor and paramedic provide medical care throughout the journey. 23 July Fourth road evacuation. Another 18 members are taken overland from Beirut to Damascus. 25 July Responding to a request from the Lebanese Consulate, International SOS works with the Philippine National Red Cross and Red Crescent to set up a 24/7 donations hotline service, to advise donors where to direct cash and medicine donations. Prevention not cure... Innovations in International Private Medical Insurance T +44 (0)1252 745900 W www.interglobalpmi.com International Private Healthcare Insurer of the Year | Private Healthcare News Awards 2007 Best International PMI Provider | Cover Excellence Awards 2007 InterGlobal is a trading name of InterGlobal Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the United Kingdom IGAD04/0308 January/February 2009 ? EXPAT INVESTOR 17 Fast Facts 22008
March April 2009