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Medical Escort via Rail

by Lux Joseph 8. November 2013

Do you have a family member that needs to return home with a medical escort, but flying is not an option? Commercial Medical Escorts wants you to know that there are alternative ways in which we transport patients. A majority of our cases are patients who are transported home on a commercial airline, but each and every month we are faced with a case, in which the patient is unable to fly due to their diagnosis, maybe they have a fear of flying or potentially another obstacle. For these particular situations, CME is able to transport the patient back home by train, ambulance, bus, town car/limo, and even wheelchair vans.

CME will always explore each option available to ensure the best means of transportation has been selected for the patient to ensure quality patient care and comfort. You may have a patient that is 100% non-ambulatory that needs to go from Fort Lauderdale to New York. The patient needs to remain lying flat at all times. A flight is obviously not an option. An ambulance or limousine is a possibility, but you are looking at 20 hours of ground transport with a stop or two along the way to ensure quality rest of the drivers. Not to mention that the cost will be several thousand dollars. Why not consider Amtrak? A single train transport with no switching trains and generous accommodations can put you in New York in approximately 27 hours. The length of the transport may seem long, but your patient can be comfortably situated in an accessible bedroom for under $1,000.00 per ticket. Our clinician asked our patient that was recently transported by train what she thought of the experience and her reply was “This was easier and more comfortable than I ever would have expected. As a patient you have all kinds of concerns going through your mind, but having a smooth transfer and a clinician to provide the needed support, the process is effective and puts you at ease.”

CME’s travel department has a special working relationship with Amtrak and their special services desk. Whenever a patient is transport whether it is by plane or train, having a great relationship with the operator of the mode of transportation allows a smooth transition for the patient. Very similar to the airlines, Amtrak is able to provide wheelchair assistance, accessible cabin rooms, and other special services that are specific to the needs of the patients we transport. Those travelers that travel in a roomette or bedroom are served complimentary meals throughout the journey. This past week one of our clinicians transported a patient from Washington, DC back to Florida on Amtrak. The PT had an accessible bedroom and the clinician had a connection room adjacent to the patient. An accessible bedroom is large enough for standard wheelchair to fit without issues. All the amenities including the bathroom are designed to meet the needs of those travelers with disabilities.

Patient safety and comfort is our number one priority at Commercial Medical Escorts. Understanding the different resources and methods of transports available help us to better meet the needs of our patients. Amtrak could be the option for your patient and our medical team will determine if they qualify for rail transfer. Medical escort via rail can offer substantial cost savings and CME looks forward to assist you with making that happen.



French Air Traffic Control Strike Ends

by Lux Joseph 14. June 2013

After a two-day strike that resulted in more than 2,000 cancelled flights, French air traffic controllers’ return to their towers. Though the strike has subsided, the chaos continues.

The strike commenced Tuesday around noon and continued throughout Wednesday with the participation of almost every air traffic controller in France. The issue provoking the strike was the European Union’s plans for a “Single European Sky”, a system designed to utilize the airspace and air traffic management system both within and outside of Europe. Although the new system is expected to benefit all airspace users, workers fear that this will impose a negative impact on their working conditions as well as present safety issues. The strike ended prematurely after the European Commission agreed to postpone their “SES” plans. Though the workers returned to work on Thursday, they made it clear that if their requirements are not met, there will be another strike in the future.

While the chaos surrounding the strike began to settle down Thursday morning, the travel industry within France was hit by another blow. This directly followed the passing of the air traffic control strike when another strike seemed to simultaneously emerge from its ashes as railway workers walked off the job, leaving 70% of train voyages canceled. The strike quickly ended after a deal was reached before midnight, but the ordeal only added to the already exasperating atmosphere.

Everything seems to be returning to normal in France, but this is quite possibly just the eye of the storm. Events like this have become a trend throughout Europe and until these companies and their employees’ can reach a common ground and work collectively as one, battle lines will continue to be drawn and it will be the consumers who suffer.

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