Research shows that workplace injuries happen every seven seconds. These can be due to a variety of reasons, including overexertion and tripping. The lines of work with the highest amount of work-related injuries are construction, maintenance, manufacturing, transportation, and public service. While the likelihood of workplace injuries can vary from occupation to occupation, there is still a chance that they can affect all sorts of workers, including immigrants. If someone working abroad and far from home were to experience a work-related injury while working in a country they are not from, medical repatriation may end up being a necessary option.

What Is Medical Repatriation?

For those unfamiliar, medical repatriation, or medical deportation, is when a documented or undocumented immigrant is sent back to their home country to get their long-term health problems treated. This may raise some concerns and cause one to debate the ethics of medical deportation. Arguments to support this practice include the possibility that the immigrant would receive higher quality healthcare than what would be available to them in the US or Canada.

Among the shortcomings in the US is the fact that rehabilitative care is not guaranteed to those without health insurance. Healthcare in an immigrant’s home country would also be more affordable. Plus, it would be easier for the patient to communicate with healthcare professionals who have a native language in common. When English is the dominant language in somewhere like the US, the lack of fluency in that language could make communication a bit difficult. When there is comprehension, there is more comfort.

Medical History

On the topic of communication, one would want the people treating oneself, whether abroad or in their home country, to have access to their medical history. To make things easier, it is essential to keep records of one’s own medical history. They might be in one’s native language or in the different language used by the professionals abroad. But whatever is written down can be translated and aid the professionals who treat the injured worker. Knowing what one has undergone can help experts know how to approach the proper way in which they should treat the patient medically. If going abroad, keeping medical records for use would be ideal.

Know the Ins and Outs of Insurance

Health coverage does exist for lawfully present immigrants. If workers are covered by some sort of insurance while abroad, then they should educate themselves on what that entails. It is best to request a report from the insurance companies about what they are able to provide in the case of a work-related injury that takes place when one is not in their home country. Depending on the type of health coverage that one may have, there may be benefits that would be useful in the case of a workplace injury. However, one should be aware of what that coverage does not include so that they may be prepared for worst-case scenarios.

Allista’s Services

In cases of work-related injuries abroad, Allista would be able to provide aid in the repatriation process. They are partnered with America’s Hospital and Hospital en Casa, both of which have facilities in Guadalajara, Mexico. At these facilities, healthcare professionals would speak Spanish, which would be easier for immigrant workers who are also fluent in Spanish. With such services as physical therapy, speech therapy, hydrotherapy, and neuropsychological therapy, they would be able to help immigrants get treatment from their work-related injuries. They view their patients as people to care for rather than statistics, so the patients would be in good hands.

Posted by Virginia K. Stockstill

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