When I was at Doha Airport, in one of the waiting rooms, I ran across a couple who had a small baby with them. The parents were not well-off and were going to see some very ill/about-to-be-dead relative, don't remember the exact circumstance but on those lines. I found myself helpless as I didn't know if there is any medical help they could have availed in the airport. On railways, I know that doctors (General Physician and all surgery, paediatric Doctors) are given subsidized tickets with the idea that if anybody has a medical emergency the doctor will give free help till arrives in form of more medical professionals with their tools.

Is there a common policy which could help parents in situations like these?

Update - Do they charge money for diagnosing small ailments like fever, cough etc. ? Medicines for sure would cost money.

  • 4
    On which railways to medical professionals receive subsidized tickets? If someone is seriously ill at the airport, then they can go to hospital. – Calchas Nov 6 '16 at 22:15
  • 11
    Specific to Doha Our fully-equipped and well-staffed medical centres are operational 24 hours a day and swiftly respond whenever required. There are two medical centres serving the passenger terminal. One is in the Arrivals hall just before the Passport Control area, the other is in the Departures hall near the Check-in area. Just follow the signs, ask at an information desk or use our airport map to find your way. In case of an emergency you can also call (+974) 4010 9222 to directly contact our medical team. – Giorgio Nov 6 '16 at 22:29
  • In general, transportation systems, especially large ones, have protocols in place to manage ill passengers, and staff trained on how to respond. – Giorgio Nov 6 '16 at 22:32
  • 1
    In Indian Railways. – shirish Nov 6 '16 at 22:40
  • 1
    The common policy is, "If you need help in a place, ask the staff there." – David Richerby Nov 7 '16 at 8:45

I don't know about all railways, but I assure you that doctors are not typically given subsidized air tickets in the hope they can help in case of an emergency. I do know that airlines may, after the fact, throw a few frequent flyer miles in the direction of someone who does provide medical help as a thank you.

In the airport terminal, most major airports, especially in industrialized countries, will have some provision for first aid and paramedics, and airport staff is able to summon this assistance. They sometimes use electric carts or bikes to move around the airport more quickly and reach patients in need of help. Here, for example, are paramedic first responders using Segways at Warsaw International Airport. The airport paramedics can provide immediate care and arrange emergency transportation to a hospital if needed. The costs and payment requirements for these services will depend on the country's healthcare system.

The airport may also have a clinic on site. For example, here is one at San Francisco International Airport. They offer "urgent care" services, less than would be available at a hospital, but enough to deal with many common ailments. There are two medical centres at Doha, staffed 24/7.

For the simplest of situations, many airports have a drug store in the terminal, where passengers can buy non-prescription medications for a headache, upset stomach, etc...

|improve this answer|||||
  • 1
    @pnuts The rate of false-positives from people who have PhDs is surely too high for that to be useful. (As in, a town with a decent-sized university could easily have as many PhDs working at that university as there are medical doctors in its entire healthcare system.) – David Richerby Nov 7 '16 at 8:47
  • 1
    @pnuts At least in the UK and probably in the US, many academics use Mr/Ms/etc. in non-academic contexts and I agree that would decrease the number of false-positives. But if airlines really wanted to know who was a medical doctor, they'd surely just ask when you bought the ticket. Trying to infer it from the title somebody uses is very unreliable. And note that many, many businesses ask for a title: my bank allows me to say that I'm "Dr" but I'm pretty sure that's not in case somebody needs medical assistance while I'm using a cash machine. – David Richerby Nov 7 '16 at 10:00
  • In my experience, they'll usually make an announcement if it comes to that, as they'll gladly take, say, an emergency department nurse over a retired dermatologist. Simply having the title on the passenger manifest isn't a great clue as to whether someone is actually useful in an emergency. – Zach Lipton Nov 7 '16 at 15:54

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.