Dateline: Vienna
Situation: Stranded by Airport Closures
Medical Report: You can breathe the air but check out these developing issues.

There’s no ash in the air here in Austria, but besides all the general travel headaches you are seeing on the news, I’ve uncovered some disconcerting trends in working with our members traveling around the world:

  • Travelers are running out of the prescription medicines: Type 1 diabetes patient in Singapore needs insulin; traveler in London needs high blood pressure medicine; a couple in Milan needs to replenish medicines for cholesterol levels, thyroid condition and birth control; a liver transplant patient in London needs medication to control organ rejection.  All these cases are being sorted out by HTH Worldwide staff via visits to doctors to get new prescriptions.
  • Doctor displacement causing problems: April is prime time for medical conferences around the world as well as high vacation season for physicians in tourist destinations where they are busy in the height of summer.  A lot of doctors we know were away last week and cannot get back to their practices.  We have heard from a doctor from the UK who is stranded in Budapest as well as a doctor from Rome who is stuck in Spain.  Some London hospitals are doing a department by department survey to see how many specialists are Missing In Action, so they can restructure staffing. It’s not an overwhelming problem by any means, but a lot of senior physicians were away when volcano erupted.

We will keep tracking developments while Ejafjallajokull continues to spew.

Photo info: / CC BY 2.0


About The Author

Laura Hilton serves as head of International Provider Network Development. Laura oversees all HTH international medical assistance operations and leads development of HTH’s international provider community and online databases from her office in London. Laura joined HTH in 2000 in the role of international provider recruitment and relations. She has extensive experience in emergency assistance operations and has developed medical evacuation plans for over 500 corporations. Fluent in five languages, she has traveled throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the former Soviet Union to evaluate international medical facilities and design healthcare solutions for travelers and business expatriates. Laura is a graduate of Yale University with a B.A.

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