- Press releases

International SOS supports East Asian Games with emergency medical, repatriation and travel assistance

08 December 2009

Hong Kong

In addition to medical services arranged by 2009 East Asian Games organiser to all participants of the East Asian Games, International SOS, the world's leading provider of medical assistance, international healthcare, security services and outsourced customer care, is providing emergency medical assistance, medical repatriation and visitors travel assistance for athletes, delegates, officials, and guests from countries / regions outside Hong Kong.

The East Asian Games is the largest multi-sports event ever hosted by Hong Kong and 2,300 athletes from China, Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macau, Mongolia, Chinese Taipei and Democratic People's Republic of Korea are vying for medals in 262 competitive events covering 22 sports. About 6,000 volunteers are also involved in making the event successful, while around 2,000 print, broadcast, and online journalists are covering the Games.

International SOS provides evacuation and repatriation, emergency medical advice, travel health information, medical and dental referrals, outpatient case management, innoculation information, lost luggage reporting, lost document advice and assistance, emergency hotel and / or air ticket booking and emergency translation and interpretation assistance.

"The East Asian Games has in place excellent medical infrastructure at all venues and access to facilities with international healthcare standards. Where International SOS comes in is as an extension of care for athletes, delegates, officials, and guests from countries / regions outside Hong Kong requiring to be medically transported home if they unfortunately become seriously ill," said Dr. Fahmy, Medical Director, Hong Kong, International SOS.

"A medical repatriation is an incredibly complex event requiring a multi-layered response involving cross-border collaboration and is something International SOS does as a matter of routine," added Dr. Fahmy.

International SOS carries out a medical evacuation around the world once every 11 minutes on average and employs 6,000 staff including 1,800 full-time doctors, nurses, medics, and aero-medical specialists, working across five continents, with operations in 70 countries including all participating nations/regions in the East Asian Games.

The Hong Kong assistance centre has three full time doctors stationed around the clock, and provides access to a roster of 30 medical escorts and handles an average of 25,000 medical cases and 250 medical transport cases yearly.

In the last two decades International SOS has provided medical and security services to a string of prestigious, mass-participant and high profile events such as the Olympic Games in Beijing, Sydney and Athens, The Paralympics, the South East Asian Games, ASEAN Games, various APEC summits, and others.

Key to providing consistent high quality emergency medical services is International SOS' Global Integrated Medical Case Management Technology Platform that allows the instant sharing of case information from teams in multiple locations. This is especially valuable in air and road transport of patients as these cases require sophisticated cross-border collaboration and a medical team trained in aero-medicine.

In extreme cases, a dedicated air ambulance, functioning like an intensive care unit in the air, is equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment and a medical escort team will be utilised to ensure the patient is looked after throughout the whole journey.

Should repatriation be required, and this will only be after consultation between International SOS, the patient and their family, and the case doctor in Hong Kong, a team of logistics, medical and aviation experts will work closely with all parties to coordinate the complex operation - from the patient's fit-to-fly status, medical escort team selection, travel liability issues, airline negotiation, emergency service liaison, outbound and inbound immigration arrangements, ground transfer and family liaison.

International SOS can deploy highly trained medical personnel complete with purpose-built sophisticated equipment on standby if a transfer of an infectious patient is required. During SARS, International SOS was the first company in the world to develop a special Portable Medical Isolation Unit for the transportation of infected patients that allowed doctors to administer care and attention to the patient safely.

"While the Games is going on, all athletes, officials, delegates and guests can be confident in the knowledge that International SOS is there to assist, from the innocuous such as lost luggage to bringing seriously ill patients home safely," added Dr. Fahmy.

About International SOS
Operating in over 70 countries, International SOS ( helps organisations manage the health and security risks facing their travelers and international assignees. Using its worldwide network of assistance centers, clinics, and over 55,000 health and logistics providers, the company offers local expertise, preventative advice, and emergency assistance during critical illness, accident, or civil unrest. International SOS provides medical and security information services, medical consulting, staffing support, occupational healthcare, and healthcare management services globally. Last year the company handled over 1,000,000 cases, including nearly 18,000 evacuations. International SOS works in partnership with businesses, governments and non-governmental organisations and currently provides key services to 83 percent of the Fortune Global 100 companies. Working in some of the most inhospitable places on earth, International SOS offers international standards of medical care.

For further information, please contact:
Grace Ngoh
International SOS
Tel: +852 2916 2695


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