Getting Sick While Traveling: How To Access Healthcare

Jonny Hector

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Four out of ten Americans still travel while they’re sick, Forbes reports. Although no one plans on becoming ill while traveling, it can happen, which means you need to take steps to prepare for this potential scenario before leaving. By taking the right precautions, you can minimize any inconvenience, fear, and stress if illness does strike, and get yourself on the road to recovery as soon as possible.

Get travel insurance

In most cases, travelers are required to pay for any healthcare expenses they sustain, so make sure you know how you’ll access healthcare abroad if you end up needing it. Check if your existing health insurance coverage includes medical care abroad and ask for tips and advice on accessing medical care while traveling. If your insurance policy doesn’t cover travel, you may want to purchase an additional short-term health insurance policy that does. It’s also then important to carry your health insurance policy identification card and claim form with you during your trip.

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Contact your country’s nearest embassy or consulate 

If you find yourself in need of healthcare services while traveling, get in touch with your country’s nearest embassy or consulate. They’ll provide you with the details of local healthcare providers, as well as help you find the care you need if your condition is particularly serious. Consulate officers can also help facilitate money transfers from your family or friends back home to pay for healthcare services, or simply inform your loved ones of your condition if you want them to do so. You can also be better prepared for potential illness by wearing a MedicAlert bracelet (if you have any existing medical conditions or allergies), as well as carrying a card that details your blood type, medical conditions or allergies, and medications you’re currently taking. Ideally, this card should be in the language of the country you’re traveling in. 

Look after your health

By looking after your health with good nutrition and hydration, you can minimize your chances of getting sick while traveling. It’s also important to prioritize your oral health and, if a dental emergency does strike, contact your nearest emergency dentist for treatment. If you’re traveling in Canada, for example, an emergency dental clinic in Mississauga can provide emergency services, including fillings and tooth extractions. By accessing emergency dental care promptly, you can effectively relieve pain and restore your smile as soon as possible. Also, if you’re prescribed medication, be sure to follow the instructions provided by your doctor. In some countries, counterfeit drugs are widespread, so only take medication taken with you from home; pack enough to last you throughout the entirety of your travels, as well as an emergency supply to cover you in case of any travel delays.

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More than just being an inconvenience, falling ill in a foreign country can be downright scary. By getting travel insurance, contacting your country’s nearest embassy or consulate, and looking after your health, you can make sure you’re prepared to handle illness while traveling. 

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