MEDICAL EMERGENCY EVACUATION
Cruisers to the islands are unfortunately not immune to serious medical emergencies that may require treatment beyond the ministrations of the local out island government clinics. With that in mind, it is wise to secure medical air evacuation insurance before you come to the Bahamas. The other alternative is to hire a charter flight or air ambulance on the spot, a much more costly option. Check your personal health insurance (and your credit card issuer) to see what coverage is offered, if any. Some companies include air evacuation in their policies. Most policies also cover return of the remains in the event of death.
Though the following is not an exhaustive list, here are some contacts that you can consider. Some are insurance companies that arrange emergency flights; others are air ambulance services that you can call in an emergency. As you think about your possible needs, make a plan before you depart for the Bahamas or at least have the available services at your fingertips. CAUTION: Some policies will evacuate you only in “imminent death” circumstances or only from a hospital with a doctor's request. Check out the clauses beforehand. Rates are based on distance and level of care.
Do your research before you leave home. You may want to call some of these companies to see what they offer and what they cost. This is a fluid, ever-changing business and these companies come and go.
MEDICAL AIR SERVICES (updated 1/14/14
• AAS Lifeflight from NAS in Bahamas 242-362-1606 (aaslifeflight.com)
• Advanced Air Ambulance from Miami 800-633-3590/305-232-7700 (flyambu.com)
* Air Ambulance Network from FL 800-522-3467 (Bahamas)/727-934-3999 (airambulancenetwork.com)
• Air Ambulance Professionals in Florida 800-827-0745 from FLL Exec. (airambulance.net)
• Divers Alert Network 800-446-2671 (non-emergency) or 919-684-9111 (emergency) from Duke U., Durham, NC (diversalertnetwork.org)
• Life Flight 888-543-3358/305-663-6859 from Opalocka, FL; pediatrics only
• Medical Air Services Association 800-423-3226; NAS 242-393-5048; FPT 242-351-5122 (medairservices.com)
• National Jets 800-327-3710/954-359-9900 from FLL (nationaljets.com)
• U.S. Air Ambulance 800-633-5384 from NAS (usairambulance.net)