Case Reports

Scenario 1

Mr A, a 40-year-old man from Guangzhou was travelling with his 38-year-old wife and 2-year-old daughter. They were visiting the Orang Utan sanctuary in Sandakan when Mr A had a fall. The park staff called an ambulance and he was sent to Hospital Sandakan. Luckily his injury was quite minor with only a broken ankle that required him to be admitted to the hospital.

    Problems faced by Mrs A when Mr A was in hospital:
  1. Unable to understand explanation by the doctors in Hospital Sandakan.
  2. Her bags were still in the hotel, and their tour group will be leaving by bus to Kota Kinabalu, with the flight back to Guangzhou the following day.
  3. Unable to contact her family members, as she has no local phone.
    Mrs A then called Borneo Assist:
  1. Our Mandarin-speaking Visitor Relations Manager answered the call and assured her that everything will be all right and will be sorted out for her.
  2. Our Medical Director (Doctor), who could speak the local dialect/ language, asked to speak to the doctor-in-charge in Hospital Sandakan, and then explained to Mrs A what was going on, including the further medical plan for her husband. We also helped her to ask the local doctor in Hospital Sandakan about whatever questions or matters that she was unsure about.
  3. After solving the medical issues, we proceeded to call the hotel she was staying in to extend her stay in her room.**
  4. We arranged a taxi for her to go back to her hotel room to take a shower and freshen up before going back to the hospital to accompany her husband.**
  5. A babysitter was arranged to help Mrs A with the care of her daughter so that she could take a good rest after a stressful day.
  6. We arranged with the airline and travel company to change their flight tickets back to Guangzhou.** A wheelchair was also arranged with the airline to ensure Mr A was able to move about at the airport comfortably during boarding.
  7. We contacted their next-of-kin back in China to inform them of the situation, and gave our personal contact number, just in case they need to call back for any extra information.
  8. Two days later, once Mr A was discharged, transport was arranged for Mr A, Mrs A and their daughter to go to the hotel before their flight back to China the next day.**
** Any extra charges by third parties such as airlines, taxi and hotels will be borne by the customer.
Scenario 2

Mr B, a 70-year-old man from China was travelling with his family. They were visiting the island of Mabul for snorkeling when suddenly Mr B complained of chest pains. He was suspected to have a heart attack by his family. The local travel guides sent Mr B to the local hospital, Hospital Semporna. The local doctor in Hospital Semporna now wants to send Mr B to Hospital Tawau. Mr B’s son could not understand what was happening and contacted Borneo Assist immediately.

    Mr B’s son called Borneo Assist:
  1. Our Medical Director (Doctor) spoke directly to the doctor-in-charge in the local hospital using the local language. He found out from the doctor that Mr B is having a heart attack, but there was no specialist working in Hospital Semporna. Mr B needed to be transferred to Hospital Tawau, which is 1.5 hours’ drive away for treatment. This was explained to Mr B’s son, and Mr B was then transferred immediately to Hospital Tawau.
  2. We also arranged transport from Hospital Semporna to Hospital Tawau for other family members.**
  3. After Mr B was safely in the ambulance on the way to Hospital Tawau, our Medical Director called back Mr B’s son to explain further regarding his father’s condition and what to expect in Hospital Tawau. The Medical Director also explains that there is a Internal Medicine specialist doctor in Tawau, but there is no Cardiologist available there. The patient might still need to be transferred to Kota Kinabalu (12 hours’ drive away) if the initial treatment with medication does not work in Hospital Tawau.
  4. The Medical Director offered to send a Borneo Assist Doctor or Nurse to Hospital Tawau immediately. The doctor will represent the family as a family friend to get further information from the treating doctors and assist the family in making decisions once in Hospital Tawau.
    On arrival of Mr B and family in Hospital Tawau.
  1. Borneo Assist Manager arranged a hotel accommodation near the hospital for the family in case they need to check-in and rest. Mr B’s son could stay with Mr B while the rest of the family members could rest in the hotel room and shower. Transport and taxis would also be arranged.**
  2. While this was happening, Borneo Assist Medical Director contacted Mr B’s Travel Insurance representative (since he has an active travel insurance policy) to inform them of his clinical situation and negotiate a Medevac for Mr B to a hospital in Kota Kinabalu where a Cardiologist is available. This transfer can only be done once Mr B is more stable. If Mr B has no insurance, our Medical Director would also arrange for a private Medevac and present the options to the family. This Medevac would only be needed if Mr B could not be treated in Hospital Tawau. However, all arrangements would be done earlier by the Medical Director in anticipation of any circumstances.
  3. The next day, there was good news. Mr B was now well treated and responded to the initial treatment in Hospital Tawau. His family was all fresh and not tired, having rested in the hotel next to the hospital. Because Mr B was more stable, Borneo Assist Medical Director informed Mr B’s Travel Insurance Representative that he is fit to travel home directly to China.
  4. Whether Mr B is transferred back directly would depend on his clinical condition and family wishes. Borneo Assist can arrange for a Medevac for either self-paying or insurance paid patients.
  5. Mr B could recuperate in Hospital Tawau for a few days until he is discharged or be flown back directly. This was discussed and advised by the Medical Director and the family members after talking to the treating doctors in Hospital Tawau.
  6. If family members decide to fly back after recuperating, Borneo Assist will assist in booking of flight tickets and even sending a Borneo Assist Doctor to accompany Mr B all the way home to China. **
  7. Arrangements for airline bookings and oxygen in the aircraft will also be done.
  8. After the whole ordeal is over, Borneo Assist will assist in the claims for Travel Insurance reimbursement for hospital stay and trip curtailment if travel insurance has been bought before the trip. Borneo Assist services may or may not be covered by your Travel Insurance. We will issue a detailed receipt for our services. Only certain services may be covered by your travel insurance.
Scenario 3

Mr C and his family (wife and 1 child) were staying in a hotel in Lahad Datu. On returning to their hotel room after dinner, they found that their passports have been stolen. They did not know what to do as they do not speak the local language and they were not sure of the procedures to report their passports lost. They were very worried as the Chinese Embassy is in Kota Kinabalu, about 8 hours’ drive away from Lahad Datu.

    Having joined the Borneo Assist Program before they left for their holiday in Borneo, Mr C called Borneo Assist to get assistance immediately.
  1. The Borneo Assist Manager who speaks Mandarin answers the phone. He assures Mr C that everything will be all right. After understanding the problem, the Borneo Assist Manager discussed with Mr C a few solutions to his problem. Mr C decided to choose the most stress-free solution. Borneo Assist sent a multilingual local relationship officer with a limousine to Mr C’s hotel the next morning to pick Mr C and his family up to sort out his predicaments.
  2. The multilingual Borneo Assist Relationship Officer and a limousine waited for Mr C and his family in the hotel lobby early in the morning. She helped Mr C and family check-out from their hotel. The family was brought to a nice place for breakfast and briefed on what the plan is for the day. They proceeded to the Lahad Datu police station to lodge a police report. The Borneo Assist Relationship Officer then accompanies the family all the way in a drive to Kota Kinabalu. If arrival if Kota Kinabalu is late, a hotel room was already booked and ready for the family. They were brought to check-in and rest.
  3. The relationship manager and the limousine came to the hotel the next day to pick the family up to bring them to the Chinese Embassy to get their new passports.
  4. Mr C and family were then free to enjoy the rest of their without stress. On the other hand, they can decide to cut short their holiday and go home. Flight reservations and changes will be handled by Borneo Assist for them.**
Scenario 4

Ms D and her boyfriend went diving in Pulau Mabul, Semporna. After finishing her 3rd dive for the day, she felt aches all over her body and was very tired. She was told by the local divemaster that she may be suffering from “the bends”. The divemaster advised her to take a boat ride (2 hours) back to Semporna where there is a district hospital to treat her. However, there may not be a hyperbaric chamber there and she may need to be transferred again by ambulance to the navy base in Sepanggar, Kota Kinabalu which is 10 hours’ drive away.

    Ms D contacted Borneo Assist
  1. She was directly connected to our Mandarin speaking Medical Director. She was asked a few questions and triaged online. This is done to see how urgent the medical problem is and how stable she is. After online assessment, the medical director suggested that it might be more effective to transfer her directly to Sepanggar Naval Base to use the hyerbaric chamber. This should be done immediately.
  2. The Medical Director called Ms D’s Travel Insurance Company to explain the situation to them and to get approval for a Medevac flight. Once approved, a helicopter was deployed to Pulau Mabul to pick Ms D and her boyfriend up. Flight charges will be borne by the Travel Insurance (if available). If Ms D did not buy travel insurance earlier, she could also opt to pay for the flight charges herself. All arrangements will be done by Borneo Assist for free. Flight and medical personnel for medical evacuation are chargeable and cost may be borne by Ms D herself or her travel insurance company (if applicable).