Assisting People with Medical Conditions on their Local or International Travel Needs [Interview][Transcript]

Ben_Wilson_travel_nannies_nurses_paramedicsGuest: Ben Wilson
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Ben Wilson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Medical Travel Companions “Helping People to achieve their Travel Dreams” holds a Bachelor of Business Degree from the University of South Australia and Diploma. Ben brings to Medical Travel Companions twenty years of management experience in the Airline, Airport, Travel and Health consulting sectors. Medical Travel Companions has many affiliate partners including live web apps and marketing contracts with; Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines, Abercrombie & Kent, Medical Tourism Asia, NRMA, AIG Travel Insurance, Allianz Travel Insurance and will be launching its services globally with several other global travel and health industry organisations. This experienced matched with a flair for entrepreneurship, operations, innovation and commerce on a global basis ensures MTC growth strategies are met.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, we welcome returning guest Ben Wilson CEO and Co-Founder of Medical Travel Companions. They offer their services for travel on all forms of travel transport including, Flights, Cruise, Tour, Private vacations or Concierge transport services for local transportation requirements. They provide a practical solution for travellers who require a professional to assist or find it difficult to travel on their own. All their medical travel companions are guaranteed to be fully qualified health professionals (nannies, carers, nurses or paramedics).


Health Professional Radio – Medical Travel Companions

Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My guest joins me today from Australia. He is Ben Wilson, Co-Founder and CEO of Medical Travel Companions. Ben welcome to Health Professional Radio.

Ben Wilson: Great, thank you very much for having me.

W: Now Ben we had a chat, I guess it must be a year or a month ago, but for most people who might not remember when we chatted earlier. Tell us all a little bit about what it is that Medical Travel Companions do and where it is you do it.

B: Yeah, thanks very much. Medical Travel Companions is all about helping people to achieve their travel dreams. So we offer our seven levels of service, anything from a Travel Nanny right thru to a paramedic or a nurse. To assist people during a journey, so it could be quite as simple as picking someone up from a hospital or an Aged Care Facility and taking them to a medical appointment or it could be picking them up from home, taking them to the airport or to… lounge or going on an entire holiday with them for a three week cruise. And offering very basic medical support, we don’t want to be seen as an air ambulance sort, everyone’s gonna be fit to travel but it offers reassurance and assistance for when people travel. We also offer an airport concierge service, we have airside access in Singapore in Changi Airport where we can do a meet and greet service and assist people, especially elderly people moving from in-transit, from one gate so we can potentially pick them up at gate 20 and sort of walk with them and look after them for the four hours and make sure they get on the next flight thru to London or wherever it is.

W: Now Ben this is not your Medical Evacuation and Emergency Service. This is for those who are generally as you say fit to fly but are looking for some support.

B: Yeah, exactly that’s right. So it’s no we don’t want that, this is more of a positive spin, it’s about people who maybe sitting at home might be thinking if they can afford to travel and can afford to take someone with them, to them that sort of bit of reassurance. So it’s a positive spin, and obviously you’ve got to be fit to fly and fit to travel and then we can dispatch a good person with them, who’s clinically trained to help them on their journey. So it could be as simple as flying mom or dad up for Christmas or Easter to have and when siblings are too busy to do that and it’s cheaper for them to pay for someone like our service to travel with their elderly parents to get them from point A to point B on an aircraft, so or it could be on a train or bus or whatever so that’s really the essence. So we also have our key affiliate partners, at the airlines, so we have arrangements with Singapore Airlines, Verge in Australia, Travel Associates which is part of the Flight Centre, Abercrombie and Kent and organizations like NRMA Travel, RACQ, RAA. So we thought quite a lot, we’ve got a live web app system that’s on these key affiliate partner websites which enables us to track all of the inquiries and bookings. So it’s an ever evolving business and we operate now globally from offices in London, Singapore and Australia.

W: I see. Now Ben most of our audience are clinicians of one kind or another, a lot of them are work in at Acute Care and hospitals and a lot work in Aged Care. What’s the message you’d like them to hear today as a result of you being on Health Professional Radio?

B: Yeah, it’s really about we can offer assistance to some of your patients or clientele who needs some level of reassurance and assistance in traveling from point A to point B. Now that could be a short journey or it could be a long journey, it could be a young family, we’ve had young families that need to get from Hong Kong to New York. We have dispatched a travel Nanny with them, because one of the children had the mental health issue or it could be taking Grandma from home to the Dental appointment or from home on a short trip that just needs assistance and reassurance and we do that with qualified Nurses and Paramedics or Travel Nannies.

W: And I guess for a lot of people who are clinicians in those environments, you’d be happy to talk to them if they have concerns about traveling in-patients and were looking for some advice about just what you can offer.

B: Yeah, absolutely. So we’ve got our terms and conditions of course and as I said before they’ve got to be clinically fit to travel and signed off by their Medicaid for us to them because that’s so important for us, we don’t want to take the people shouldn’t be travelling. And really the best way is obviously look at our website, or just simply send us an email on [email protected]

W: Now my favorite question Ben and for the listeners, if you’ve just joined us I’m talking to Ben Wilson, the Co-Founder and CEO of Medical Travel Companions and I’m just about to ask my favorite question in every interview. Ben in every business there are misconceptions. What are the misconceptions amongst your customers, clients, patients and the misconceptions that drive you enough and keep you awake at night?

B: Nothing really keeps me awake at night really but I suppose the word of Medical Travel Companions almost anticipates that we are an air ambulance service taking folks in a co-responsibility. This something that we don’t and we don’t want to get into that space. But we need it to call it Medical Travel Companions, but usually we’re offering trained and qualified clinicians to do our work, who would otherwise be working in a hospital environment or a clinical environment but they do this part-time and full really to something different. I think the word Medical Travel Companions, sometimes people think it’s for really sick people – in actual fact it’s not. It’s about using clinical qualified staff to help people achieve their travel dreams and enable them to travel when they would not have otherwise had that opportunity. We’ve had our nurses, etc. on three week cruise ships with an interconnecting room looking after an elderly couple and they’re going around the whole West Indies or the Caribbean so we’ve done many, many, many jobs to that effect.

W: Well Ben let’s hope we can dispel some of that misconception today amongst our audience.

B: Yeah, no thank you very much. Yeah, I bet we’re getting a lot of interest out there. There’s not a lot of, nothing else really doing what we’re doing So, we have close relationships with the travel airline and cruise ship business and also the travel insurance businesses now.

W: It does sound like unique service certainly. Ben let me get that website again for people who might missed it before, it’s that’s all one word. It’s quite of string of letters, and there we’ll be able to contact Ben Wilson, Co-Founder and CEO of Medical Travel Companions and the terms and conditions are on the website along with the raft of other information and you can also make arrangements to contact Ben and get more advice and information if you need it. If you just joined us today and missed our conversation with Ben, the good news is we have on our website a transcript of the whole conversation. You can also listen to the interview as an audio file on both YouTube and SoundCloud and we have links to get to all of those on the station website at Ben I do appreciate your time today, I realize you’re a busy person and it’s always good to have you on Health Professional Radio.

B: Great, thank you very much for having me once again.

W: It’s a pleasure. You’re listening to Health Professional Radio, my name is Wayne Bucklar.