(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) The GVA mission was to bring a Sri Lanka 37-year-old seafarer from Dammam (Saudi Arabia) to Colombo (Sri Lanka). Diagnosis: oncology, malignant neoplasm of rectosigmoid junction.
The seafarer was operated for excision and biopsy of right parietal S.O.L., after spending a month in the hospital he was eager to travel back home. The seafarer was fit to fly on Commercial Carrier with medical escort and the Owner requested GVA for the services.
However, there were strict restrictions for travelling to Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka for foreigners, both countries were on lockdown. We could dispatch a local Nurse from Dammam (a resident of SA) to Sri Lanka, however the local medical representatives quoted 80,000 SAR (21,000 USD) for Nurse escort fees on the route Dammam – Colombo, ticketing, other expenses and the headache of getting authorization was still for GVA. We could not propose such option to our Principle, since the GVA philosophy is to find a customary and reasonable solution for our Clients even when the mission seems to be impossible.
GVA medical team of ICU Physicians and Nurses includes Ukrainians, Cypriot, Russians, Filipino, Africans, Latino Americans and other nationalities, who can be dispatched on a mission depending on the restrictions an requirements of different countries, geographical position and other peculiarities.
All of them are flying on medical missions regularly to escort seafarers; many flights are via Dubai as one of the most convenient hub (even transit counts as visiting). Thus, there was a problem – most of the medical team has visited Dubai in the past 14 days that is one of the black listed red zone spots for Saudi Arabia.
We had no other choice than dispatch a female Doctor to Saudi Arabia, a young Ukrainian anaesthesiologist resuscitator, who speaks Arabic and luckily she has even a hijab brought from the Middle East as she is married to a Lebanese national. A young woman, travelling for the mission to Saudi Arabia was the first time event for GVA experienced team of 24 years. The Doctor had all the support from GVA 24h alarm center, even from her husband and also upon her arrival to SA the local support of the Owners representative was incredible.
The most challenging part of medical evacuation arrangements during COVID-19 pandemic, such as obtaining entering permits for the Doctor from both countries, coordination with Embassies and Consuls, visa issues, confirmation with Airlines, has now been behind.
GVA Doctor successfully performed her mission and has got many thankful feedbacks from the shipping company and from the seafarer.
Please feel free to address your questions to GVA - Global Voyager Assistance