Between the beginning of July and 24 August 2018, Rega's Operations Centre organised the repatriation of some 280 people who had suffered a medical problem while abroad and had to be brought back to Switzerland for further treatment. While a quarter of them were able to travel home on board a scheduled aircraft - some under the medical care of a Rega flight physician or nurse -, around 210 patients needed to be transported in one of Rega's three ambulance jets.
The majority of repatriations from Italy and Spain
During the summer holidays, the three Rega jets were mainly in operation in Europe. The highest number of patients were repatriated from Italy, followed by Spain, Germany and France. However, Rega also flew patients back home to Switzerland from far-off countries, including Australia, Thailand and Mauritius.
Most common reason is illness
Rega's operational activities are subject to seasonal fluctuations. For Rega, the period during the summer holidays generally means an increase in ambulance jet missions. The causes of the medical problems suffered by people abroad are as diverse as the travel patterns of the Swiss population. The most common reason for repatriation is illness, followed by road and sports accidents.
More information on how repatriation is carried out in our video: "Emergencies abroad"