Taking place between 9 and 25 February, the event will pose a number of challenges, said GAP. According to Gna Chung, Chief Executive of GAP, one of the biggest issues for those who have travelled to the area and then need medical assistance is the language barrier. All of the native nursing staff will speak Korean, whilst nursing support after admission will be low due to lack of man power, he asserted. Chung highlighted how GAP plans to deal with these issues: “We will establish GAP satellite offices at two tertiary hospitals, GangNeung Asan Hospital and Wonju Severance Hospital, where our staff can be called on to assist – providing the necessary local language skills as well as assessing the level of nursing support that may be needed. These will be supported by our medical staff.”
GAP also noted that whilst Southern Korean hospital standards are on a par with western ones, the increased number of visitors during the Olympics could mean that the infrastructure may not be able to cope. Some of the more remote locations also pose a logistical challenge, but GAP said that in preparation, it visited all levels of medical facilities and produced an information pack for use by all IAG Partners in an effort to spread the workload utilising the most appropriate facility and transportation options.
Cécile Hermetz, General Manager at the IAG states: “Global Assistance Partners has already established a reputation within the IAG for the quality of service they provide. With IAG Partners, across the globe, having many travellers to cater for in this period, GAPs preparation and plans are important to ensure that this high quality is maintained during such an important event.”