May 1. Cruise ship medical facilities can treat a wide range of ailments, from earaches to heart attacks.
Dr. Joe Scott, senior director of fleet medical operations at cruise line operator Carnival Corp., told USA TODAY in February that its ships’ facilities are generally set up like a typical emergency department.
The way cruise ships get sick or injured passengers to shore depends largely on «the weather, the location and the assets available,» Scott said.
If the ship is nearing a stop, they may wait until they get to a port. If not, they consider what is close by, or if the U.S. Coast Guard (or equivalent officials in other countries) are available to them, who can provide an evacuation by helicopter, or by boat if they are closer to shore.
Many health insurance plans do not cover medical costs travelers incur at sea or in foreign countries, Scott said. Carnival Corp. requires passengers to pay for those services, and they can then submit the receipts to their insurance company.
Scott said a medical evacuation can cost tens of thousands of dollars, though the amount varies depending on the circumstances and where travelers are at the time.
Source: USA Today