With international terrorism, earthquakes or other natural disasters, and political instability dominating the news, it’s easy to fall into the misperception that the most common emergency for your employees abroad will be something dramatic. You might ponder, “What will we do if an employee is kidnapped?” or “What will we do if there is a revolution in country ‘x’?” But the reality is that those types of emergencies – while important, and while they are things that you should definitely have in your overseas employee security plan, those types of of emergencies are not the most common.
Medical Emergencies: Among the Most Common International Security Threats to Your Employees
Among the most common emergencies are medical emergencies. The plain vanilla “appendicitis” emergency is one of the most common, for example. In the United States, about 270,000 appendectomies are performed each year. Even Donald Trump had one! So, as you are planning for the possibilities for employees abroad, the common medical emergencies are among the emergencies for which there should be a plan.
It could be appendicitis, it could be an ectopic pregnancy, it could be a terrible case of the flu… but if your company is sending employees or key executives overseas, medical emergencies need to be part of the plan. Let’s face it. Not every country in the world has the kind of medical services available in the United States, Germany, or the United Kingdom. As security consultants, we can help you formulate an international employee security plan, and in the plan, we’ll be sure to include planning for any type of medical emergency, up to and including evacuation from a host country.
Medical Problems are Common: 1st World Medical Facilities Are Not
Our employee medical services also include information. Knowledge is power, after all. By connecting you and your employees with our global information system, we can help your employees stay healthy by advising them on the types of immunizations, vaccine recommendations and diseases that may impact them in a particular country. We can inform them of the location of nearby medical facilities, and point them to on-the-ground resources to help them evaluate their options during a medical emergency. We issue medical alerts and warnings, depending on changing circumstances, and we can help them identify available pharmacies to source prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.
The reality is that a) you should include medical emergencies as part of your overseas employee security plan, and b) you should reach out to a trusted security partner to help you not only with high-level information needs but also on-the-ground assistance.
Once you have more than a few employees overseas, the reality is that among the most common security challenges is the most mundane: medical emergencies in third world countries that do not have readily available medical facilities that meet the needs of first world citizens.