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Airambulance Bill and Poor Planning Lands Montreal Couple in Huge Debt


A trip that was supposed to be all fun in Dominican Republic ended up being a financial nightmare for this young couple. Husban, Jean-Francois Bussiere-Bourdages and wife, Valerie Gelinas had set out on the trip with their 1-1/2-year-old daughter. Valerie was already 33 weeks’ pregnant. As fate was to have it, Valerie ended up having a premature delivery in the foreign country and they had to call for an international air ambulance for medical repatriation to Montreal.

Why did the Couple Need Repatriation through Airambulance Services?

Valerie suddenly started to experience contractions during their vacation. Following an ultrasound, it was advised that she be admitted to hospital. Jean-Francois had to pay about $20,000 just to get an ambulance to a hospital in Santo Domingo about three hours away. When they finally got there, the facilities were appallingly pathetic. However, they were compelled to have a C-section and were advised against air travel for the next month. Valerie had delivered a baby girl. However, when the husband called Montreal Airambulance, they were suggested immediate evacuation.

So, was it Just Airambulance that Cost them So Much?

Many would question the couple for having flown overseas in the 33rd week. Plus it is not certain whether the couple had adequate air ambulance cover before they embarked on the trip. The total bill that they were presented amounted to $90,000 of which $40,000 was for airambulance. The family is now in huge debts. Bussiere-Bourdages said that they had borrowed money “left and right,” with the silver lining being that their daughter was safe.

Insurance would probably have not helped the couple as pregnancy is considered a preexisting condition. It was also not clear whether the couple had adequate travel insurance. In the outset, it seemed like the couple had done some poor financial risk planning before the trip. The couple is now trying to get reimbursement through the Quebec health system.

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