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Travel Q&A with MHI's Project Liaison Officer

An Interview with Carole Derksen:

Carole supports all MHI travellers and project employees by overseeing and coordinating immigration documents, and health and safety items.
 
What precautions do you take before mobilizing staff to work internationally?
 
Employees, independent contractors, and their families, if applicable, are asked to visit their doctor to discuss their current medical condition and the effect of travelling to the specific project country. MHI coordinates pre-travel vaccinations, assists with obtaining prescriptions, and requests that each traveller completes a confidential profile. These measures allow us to assist our travel health providers in the event of an emergency, ensuring the proper medical treatment is obtained. Visa permits and security briefings are monitored daily or more frequently.
                                                                                                                                                                               
What assistance is available if I work internationally for MHI?
 
MHI provides extensive assistance before and during an assignment. Once the project contract has been signed, MHI will work with the employee to coordinate travel preparation, procedures, and documentation. MHI will book the international travel and organize local transportation, accommodations, and telephone and computer requirements. In addition, MHI will attend to other details including expenses, safety information, local culture, and amenities.

What about personal safety? 
 
The personal safety of project staff is of the utmost importance to MHI. MHI provides secure accommodations and safe ground travel. Any potential risks are regularly monitored and mitigated. MHI staff is available by phone 24 hours a day, in case of emergencies. In addition, an Emergency Response Plan is developed for each project and distributed to project participants. This plan is continually updated and encompasses details about the location, and information and instructions for anything from small matters to political or medical emergencies. 

What processes are in place to deal with medical issues and emergencies?
 
MHI has insurance coverage with International SOS (ISOS), which monitors socio-political and health risk situations. ISOS is available 24/7 and responds to all medical questions. Travellers can contact ISOS at any time to speak to a medical professional who will assist in guiding them to either the nearest medical professional in the area (such as an eye specialist, dentist, cardiac specialist) or emergency services for more serious and imminent situations. ISOS and MHI monitor the case, and communicate with family members and healthcare providers to ensure the best treatment is provided. In some cases, emergency evacuation by air ambulance may be required, and is coordinated with ISOS and MHI.
 
For more information, email travel@mhi.ca

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