A growing proportion of business travellers and expatriates are being sent to countries with higher medical risks, and more of them are requiring medical assistance.
In an upcoming Risk Outlook webinar, International SOS experts will discuss global case data from 2013 which shows over 40 per cent of medical cases occurred in countries considered as having a high or extreme risk, a sharp increase from less than 25 per cent in 2010.
“More than a third (34 per cent) of International SOS medical cases in 2013 occurred in high risk countries in the Middle East and Asia, with assistance commonly required in Indonesia, India and China,” International SOS Medical Director – Medical Information and Analysis Dr Irene Lai said.
“Research shows that nearly half of travellers and expatriates hospitalised in a high risk country will require a medical evacuation while in an extreme risk country, that figure rises to nearly 80 per cent,” Dr Lai said.
“With more than a third of medical evacuations due to preventable medical issues, such as cardiovascular problems, a health check program for staff travelling to high and extreme countries is important so underlying medical problems can be managed prior to assignment,” International SOS Medical Director – Occupational Health Dr Nhlanhla Mpofu said.
“Fulfilling a company’s duty of care obligations is about identifying the foreseeable risks to employee health inherent in the location in which employees are being sent and managing those risks effectively. So if companies are not proactively managing the health of their travelling staff prior to deployment, they are running the risk of failed assignments, preventable costs, litigation, or even a tragic outcome,” Dr Mpofu said.
“The same goes for travel security risks,” said Eliza Murray, Regional Information Manager – Asia Pacific, Travel Security Services.
“There are a number of potential flashpoints in Asia in 2014, such as Thailand, which could impact the security environment. It’s not that staff shouldn’t travel to risky countries, they just need to know the risks, be well prepared and know who to contact in an emergency,” Ms Murray said.
During the webinar, International SOS and Control Risks will outline the medical, security and political incidents businesses should prepare for in 2014. They will also look at case data trends and outline the types of preparation required to keep business travellers and expatriates safe and healthy in 2014.
To register for the Risk Outlook webinar being held on February 6 please click here