Jellurgal Country (Burleigh Heads), Queensland
Medical Rescue is the winner of the Australian Export Awards’ Professional Services category for the second year running. And for good reason.
Medical Rescue is the busiest international air ambulance service in Australia. The company provides international aeromedical evacuation services for the Indo-Pacific region. It repatriates injured and critically unwell patients from the Pacific Islands and beyond, bringing them to Australia for specialist medical care.
Medical Rescue owns a dedicated international jet air ambulance and operates from a purpose-built operations hub on the Gold Coast. In the past year, the company has expanded its operations into the Middle East including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia and offers both aeromedical and remote medical services across the Indo Pacific and the Middle East to provide support to injured, unwell or vulnerable people. This support is coordinated with telemedicine and cutting-edge digital diagnostic resources monitored from here in Australia.
Visit Medical Rescue website.
Medical Rescue is now one of the busiest international air ambulance service in the Indo-Pacific.
In the past year, the company has been expanding its medical hubs into Turkey, Jordan, Thailand, the US and the UAE. It has also opened a coordination centre in Saudi Arabia to support its activities in the Middle East.
Since winning the Professional Services Award in 2022, Medical Rescue has worked closely with Trade and Investment QLD (TIQ) and Austrade to establish new business in Saudi Arabia, and its emerging hubs around the globe.
It is now widely recognised as a leading deployable health and aeromedical service provider.
‘We employ local, multilingual flight nurses and are developing a truly global network,’ says Dr Glenn McKay. ‘This allows us to move injured, unwell or vulnerable people around the globe, either in dedicated jet air ambulances or on commercial aircraft with highly trained in-flight medical teams. From these hubs and particularly in Saudi Arabia, we are also offering the same services as in Australia to support the oil and gas industry.’
Winning an Australian Export Award last year resulted in tangible benefits to the company.
‘It has encouraged us to expand globally with the confidence that we have support here in Australia,’ says Dr McKay.
‘We have fostered a very positive working relationship with Austrade. We have already seen new partnerships and opportunities as a direct result of its support.’
Dr McKay says Austrade has been an enormous help in making introductions abroad.
‘When the Australian Government reaches out on your behalf, you tend to get a response,’ he says. ‘It is awesome to know that Austrade has your back and will support you in foreign markets.’
Medical Rescue recently purchased its own jet for aeromedical evacuations in the APAC region. The aircraft will be based at Medical Rescue’s new aeromedical hub at Gold Coast airport.
This will ensure the company remains reliable and competitive against regional providers in Singapore and New Zealand.
‘Australia has an important role to play when it comes to providing an essential lifeline to tertiary hospitals, particularly for our Pacific Island neighbours,’ says Dr McKay.
Off the back of new long-term contracts, Medical Rescue is in the best position to expand its international footprint.
‘Our new hubs will allow us to base ourselves in foreign countries and promote our health support capabilities to new markets,’ says Dr McKay.
The company recently launched in Saudi Arabia. Here, it is providing ambulance and remote area clinical services to the construction and oil industry. Medical Rescue has been recognised as the only Australian clinical provider to Saudi Aramco.
The teams in Saudi Arabia are provided with clinical support and governance from here in Australia. This occurs via new technologies that expand on telehealth to include livestreaming from digital diagnostic devices.
‘This is very new and an Australian first. It’s something we are very excited about,’ says Dr McKay.
Medical Rescue has recently noticed the emergence of a new group of people needing their help.
‘We are frequently being contacted by the families of injured Australians travelling without insurance,’ says Dr McKay.
Medical Rescue holds a social responsibility to help these families navigate the stressful and confusing process of getting loved ones home.
‘We are the only company in Australia that provides this compassionate service, in collaboration with foreign governments and hospitals,’ says Dr McKay. ‘We provide a free consultation service and help families organise and coordinate the confusing aeromedical evacuation process. We also assist these families with coordinating media and fundraising activities. It is a difficult, stressful and emotional time for families who can be easily taken advantage of.’
Dr McKay encourages other exporters to seek the help available from Austrade, TIQ and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
‘You don’t need to go it alone and build from the ground up,’ he says.
‘There is funding and a whole government team to help you engage with foreign stakeholders. And that help is so valuable. The future is very bright.’
Dr McKay notes that many Australians would be unaware that our country’s health capability is widely respected aboard, or that other countries seek out Australian medical services.
‘The ways that Australia directly supports the health and wellbeing of injured, unwell or vulnerable people internationally is overlooked. Winning an Australian Export Award is such important recognition of the valuable contribution Australian clinicians make to our region and globally,’ he says.
‘It helps raise awareness that exporting is not just selling things overseas. It is also about sharing our knowledge and skillsets to impact positively on the lives of so many others who do not have immediate access to quality healthcare that we are so lucky to have.’