Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Pandemic offers challenges and opportunities to air ambulance industry

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presents both challenges and opportunities to medical consultancies and air ambulance businesses in Cambodia and other parts of Southeast Asia.

The Kingdom is home to many foreign-headquartered firms such as Medical Air Service and Global Air Rescue, in addition to a few home-grown companies that offer medical consultancy and air ambulance services.

In an industry where competition is already very stiff, the pandemic has brought with it unprecedented problems to tackle. Lockdowns and border closures make it hard for air ambulance and related businesses to facilitate the transfer of patients from country to country.

Dr Indravina Tan, executive director of VIP Air Ambulance & Charter Flight (VAAC), agrees that the pandemic has posed a serious challenge to her business.

Established by Tan, Dr Choun Molyka and businesswoman Khek Khemrath in June 2020, VAAC is one of the native medical consultancy and air ambulance businesses in the Kingdom. It currently offers worldwide air ambulance service, worldwide charter flight service, ground ambulance service, visa and COVID-19 support documentation, as well as consultancy-medical travel/tourism.

“The business still survives. We have a number of loyal clients that trust our service. We are also building our local and international connections,” she pointed out.

Since it started operating, VAAC has facilitated the transfer of Cambodian and foreign patients to hospitals in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India and other countries. British, Taiwanese, Singaporean and Spanish nationals are among its clients.

At the same time, Tan described the current health situation as an opportunity for them to grow.

“It creates a challenge for us, while giving us the opportunity to grow. I am not only speaking about clients, but also in the growth of our skills in saving patients, in our working processes and in our connections. It is not easy to transport clients/patients at this time, but this challenge gives us the opportunity to show to our prospective clients what we are able to achieve and  what our competitors cannot,” she stressed.

27/01/21 Jose Rodriguez T. Senase/Khmer Times

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