Saturday, October 22, 2016 - 06:49

Earlier this year we toured Bali and Phuket on a hospital awareness and training mission! We were warmly welcomed and the response from the Heads of Departments at 10 hospitals was overwhelmingly positive. We consistently heard responses to the effect; this is a huge problem and our identification system is so needed to help reduce the time taken to identify injured tourists.

The stories are common throughout all the hospitals and emergency Departments. Whilst I was there… An injured male tourist arrived by ambulance after being found lying in the gutter. They had no clue as to which country he was from therefore which embassy to call. A white youngish male is all they had, typically dressed in shorts and thongs with a possible head wound. I enquired a few days later when I returned for another training session, they had only just identified him by a fellow German searching the hospitals. Apparently he had been knocked out earlier in the night from a fight, walked home but never made it. It took three days to identify him.

Every tourist needs to be aware that only basic treatment is given in most cases until you are firstly identified and funds are made available for treatment - this delay can be fatal.

James Cawood (International Coordinator Phuket International Hospital) said that if we can manage to get more tourists wearing meaningful ID such as ours, he expects it won’t be long until we hear of lives being saved. James explained that a common occurrence is badly injured unidentified patients arriving for treatment and their hospital alone treats many Australians. He emphasized the number of resources used and the valuable treatment time wasted trying to identify patients. “We need information such as allergies to proceed with treatment. Knowing a patient hasn’t got an allergy is just as useful as knowing they have in those initial hours” says James.

One Bali Hospital advised they often can’t treat until permission is given. I suspect this has more to do with payment policies given most hospitals throughout Asia are privately owned and don’t receive government funding. The more time I spend around emergency departments, the more committed I am to reducing the unnecessary deaths, maiming’s and brain injuries.

Please help us spread the word about ID Tracker. It’s simple, very affordable and after seeing my first hospital emergency which inspired the creation of ID Tracker, my children and I will always carry comprehensive ID and quality travel insurance.