Foreigner to India Dealing with a Medical Emergency? This Start-up Can Help
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A well-detailed itinerary, vacation clothes, travel insurance, documents and a high-end camera—these are probably required for that great holiday. But how do you prepare for unknown challenges in a foreign country like a medical emergency? What if you have an accident and you find no one around to ask for help?
Getting involved in an accident or any other medical emergency is stressful. But facing this in a foreign country can add to the stress as one is unfamiliar with the place, its people and is not sure about where to go. There is no centralised mechanism in India that assists foreign tourists during emergencies, medical or otherwise. India Assist, a travel-related assistance platform, is trying to bridge this gap.
Assistance in foreign land
India Assist provides on-call and ground assistance to foreign travelers in India who are in need of unforeseen medical assistance. “In case of an accident, medical aid is the solution. We won’t provide the solution, rather we will assist the victim to travel from the accident site to the hospital. We make the journey of reaching the hospital easier,” says Harish Khatri, founder, India Assist.
This start-up’s model is different from travel insurance. While travel insurance will cover the cost of medical fees that one may incur for treatment, India Assist goes a step ahead by helping during the hour of need. In some special cases, India Assist can also help with financial assistance. “If a user has lost her baggage or has been robbed, we can provide some financial assistance as well. The user can pay back at a later date,” says Khatri.
How to get help
Download the India Assist app and sign up on the platform before starting a vacation. Upload detailed itinerary on the app clearly stating the cities to be visited and the number of days to be spent at each destination. Depending on the duration of the trip, one will have to pay a small subscription fee.
Whenever a traveller is in a difficult situation and can’t decide what to do next, she can tap the ‘assistance’ button on the app. The platform provides information, suggestion or on-ground assistance for problems such as medical emergency, theft, loss of baggage, feud with a local, transit issues, among others.