Skip to content

3 Myths About Medical Repatriation You Should Know

Medical repatriation is a complicated subject and it can feel almost impossible to get a clear answer about your future from your medical provider. There are many myths surrounding the subject that make it difficult to understand your rights as a patient or the rights of a loved one. While the topic can be particularly confusing for migrants, even more so for the non english speaking person, it is essential to dispel any misconceptions about the legality of the service and those affected. Whether you immigrated to the US in search of medical treatment for your illness or became sick after entering the country, there are a few myths about medical repatriation you should understand when seeking medical services for immigrants.



Myth #1: Medical Repatriation is the Same as Medical Evacuation

One common difficulty people have when it comes to understanding their rights is the language used for legal and medical purposes. From the outside, repatriation and evacuation might sound similar, but they are actually quite different. Medical repatriation is the practice of transferring a patient from one medical facility to another outside the country, regardless of whether or not the patient is in need of critical care. 


This service can also be applied when someone passes away and their remains must be taken back to their family. Medical evacuation is more relevant in cases where patients are in critical condition and must receive emergency care. If one facility is not able to provide the appropriate services, they might be medically evacuated to a more advanced facility. 


Myth #2: Only Undocumented Immigrants are Medically Repatriated 

In the wake of immigration reform in the US, many news outlets, such as The New York Times have reported on cases of undocumented immigrants being deported via medical repatriation. While this is an actuality, repatriation can actually offer a number of benefits to both patients and hospitals. In some cases, undocumented immigrants might be sent back to their home country as a result of their medical needs; but in many cases, the process can also serve legal migrants and tourists. 


Myth #3: Medical Repatriation is Always Unethical 

Although the subject is frequently presented in a negative light, repatriation as a result of medical needs can be a saving grace for some and in fact is an ethical practice. When an immigrant without health insurance becomes ill or injured and needs medical assistance, hospitals are shouldered with the financial burden of treating these patients. One benefit of medical repatriation is that it relieves facilities of this stress while locating an alternative facility that is able to continue providing medical services to the patient. In some cases, repatriated patients are able to receive the care they need more quickly through programs and resources that were not available to them in the US. 



If you have been relocated as a result of medical repatriation or are unsure if repatriation is the right answer for your unique situation, Allista can help. By partnering with Hospital en Casa and Americas Hospital in Mexico, we are dedicated to connecting patients with the best care available. Our compassionate, knowledgeable staff work closely with lawyers, caseworkers, and medical facilities in the US to ensure that patients are able to receive the treatment they need. Reach out to us today and get help with your medical needs and answers to all of your questions.

9 Facts About Traumatic Brain Injury You May Not Know

January 22, 2020

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a CATASTROPHIC health situation and a major cause of disability and even death.  According to the CDC, between the…

What to Do When an Undocumented Loved One Needs Medical Treatment

December 19, 2019

  With approximately 11.3 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. currently, some of them will inevitably need access to medical care. Especially among the elderly…

How to Prepare in Case of a Work Related Injury Abroad

November 30, 2019

Working abroad inherently comes with an onslaught of questions regarding how to manage finances, legal matters, and medical treatment. Although many workers may not expect…