If there’s almost nothing worse than getting sick, something worse is getting sick in a foreign country. As Dorothy says in the Wizard of Oz, there’s no place like home, and all of us really feel that longing for a familiar place, a loving face, and the comforts of the known when were sick. Let’s face it. Many of us are just little kids inside, and we have, hopefully, many fond memories of moms and dads who helped us out when we were sick. As we grow older, our experience of getting sick treated may involve our own health system: that is, a familiar doctor, a familiar insurance program, a familiar hospital.
For this reason, and certainly for any employees that you are sending overseas to countries as diverse as Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, or Australia, the anxieties surrounding medical assistance for employees overseas cannot be underestimated.
Even more troubling, nowadays many employees bring their families along with them on foreign trips. Whereas in the 1950s or 1960s, it was an enormously huge deal to engage in jet travel across the Atlantic Ocean, now, even many small children have made the journey. The world has gotten smaller, and for this and other reasons, it is not uncommon for an employee to bring his or her spouse or family with them on an overseas business trip. Even more common, if they have to live abroad for an extended period of time, it is quite common to bring along a spouse and/or children.
Investing in a Medical Assistance Program for Employee Overseas Makes Sense
However, as human resource administrators, executives, managers or others who may be managing employee travel, let’s just look at the raw numbers and probabilities. If you are sending one employee overseas, then her chances of getting sick are just related to one individual. If, however, she brings her husband, and their three kids, you now have five individuals all are capable of unfortunately becoming ill. And, although you might attempt to cast a hard line, and say to the employee that you as the employer are only responsible for that direct line employee, in practical terms, this may not be so easy and may be, correctly, perceived as rather callous. You, as the employer, may be on the hook for medical assistance for employees overseas in practical if not legal terms.
Next, let’s look at the range of potential problems. An employee may simply come down with a bad cold or the flu, and need to visit a doctor for reassurance and perhaps some antibiotics. That’s not a big deal, in most countries of the world. However, the employee may come down with something quite serious such as appendicitis or perhaps be involved in a motorcycle accident. Again, realistically, neither of those are the most traumatic of illnesses or events that can propel someone into the health system of an overseas country. However, with the language barriers and cultural barriers not to mention the vast differences in how different countries administer their health systems, it is a wonderful thing to have the support of a system like IMG GlobalSecur to help you with medical assistance for employees overseas.
Finally, let’s think for a moment of the extreme cases, when an employee is involved in a life-threatening illness or accident. In those situations, minutes may matter, and having IMG GlobalSecur at the employee’s fingertips through our FoneTrac travel safety app (https://www.fonetrac-go.com), means that the employee or her family can get immediate assistance and help navigating the emergency health system of a foreign country. Included is the opportunity to have that employee evacuated in a medical way to a more developed country if that is necessary.
Employee Medical Assistance Programs: Win/Win for Employer and Employee
Among the benefits that are win-win for both employers and employees who have a lot of exposure to overseas travel and living is the idea of medical assistance for employees overseas. This gives everyone peace of mind and plans for the unfortunate, and hopefully unlikely, event of a medical emergency, illness, or accident. With a little planning and with the support of a robust medical assistance for employees overseas system such as global secure you can be prepared for this new world order.