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Medical Emergency in Lisbon

Broomfield, Colorado
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Medical Emergency in Lisbon

Hello. My mother had a fall and broke her femur in Lisbon. She was first sent to the central hospital where she languished for days on a gurney in a hallway as it was over capacity. Then they sent her to Curry Cabral Hospital. She has heard that they will not perform surgery until next Tuesday: a full 8 days after her injury. I am at home in the United States trying to help her and my father. Can anyone advise on medical evacuations or what recourse we have? My parents are very frightened and depressed. I do not know what to do or how to help them.

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9 replies to this topic
Madeira, Portugal
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1. Re: Medical Emergency in Lisbon

Have you been in touch with your travel insurance provider? They should be your first point of contact especially when it comes to medical evacuations.With no insurance evacuations to US will cost thousands at your cost. I am not sure what you mean by recourse. I assume any medical return to US would be at your cost, unless your insurance covers the situation. I am sure others may offer advice in this situation but insurance will be the way forward.

Edited: 08 December 2017, 07:07
Portalegre, Portugal
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2. Re: Medical Emergency in Lisbon

You could try the US Embassy in Portugal - https://pt.usembassy.gov

What, exactly, they might be able to do to help you I really don't know, but they might be able to point you in some useful directions?

You might search the internet for a group of American ex-pats living in Lisbon. Again, I'm not sure what they might be able to do, but they are at least familiar with the systems here. In addition, someone there might be willing to be a "friendly local-language voice" to your father.

Broomfield, Colorado
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3. Re: Medical Emergency in Lisbon

Thank you for your response. We are looking into the insurance situation.

Broomfield, Colorado
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4. Re: Medical Emergency in Lisbon

I have contacted the embassy. They indicated public healthcare is preferable to private healthcare, but otherwise could not assist. I appreciate your response, thank you.

Edited: 12 December 2017, 05:44
Albufeira, Portugal
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for Algarve, Faro, Portugal
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5. Re: Medical Emergency in Lisbon

You have to pay here and try to recover costs from your insurance. Private hospitals with more rapid care are available if your insurance covers it and you can have your mother transferred.

lisbon-tourist-guide.com/lisbon-private-hosp…

Aveiro, Portugal
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6. Re: Medical Emergency in Lisbon

May I assume that your mother is over 65 and on Medicare? If so, and if she chose one of the slightly more costly Medicare Supplement policies (such as a class "F" policy), then you will find that the Supplement will reimburse the insured for up to $35,000 for medical costs incurred overseas. That's $35,000 per the insured's lifetime.

If your mother had the good sense to buy travel insurance, before she left home, then the travel insurance will be primary and the Medicare Supplement will be secondary. For something as straightforward as a fracture, there should be no reason to evacuate her to the U.S. to have it mended.

Were it me, I'd fly to Lisbon, hire a professional interpreter for the day, and get it all moving along. I'd then plan to rent an apartment in Lisbon (with an elevator!) and stay with her until she can fly home in a standard airplane seat. Again, travel insurance (if she bought any) will pay for much of these expenses.

Broomfield, Colorado
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7. Re: Medical Emergency in Lisbon

Thank you for your response!

Broomfield, Colorado
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8. Re: Medical Emergency in Lisbon

Thanks for your reply. They fortunately did get travel insurance, although I do not know the extent of the coverage.

Aveiro, Portugal
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9. Re: Medical Emergency in Lisbon

I'm glad they have travel insurance coverage.

Do be mindful that under general principles of insurance law, and under the specific terms of most travel insurance policies underwritten in the United States that I've seen, the insured has a duty to give notice of loss promptly to the insurer. The key word is "promptly".

Find out the name of the insurance company, the policy number, and the contact information (phone, address, or email address) of their claims office. It is in your parents' interest that the insurance company be contacted just as soon as possible. You or your parents at least should put the insurer on notice of the general nature of the event and when it occurred. Ditto for any other potentially applicable insurer (such as their Medicare Supplement insurer).

Good luck and a speedy recovery.

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