What To Do If You Need Medical Help While Traveling Abroad
I've now been traveling abroad for almost a month and have had my fair share of medical needs for one trip. After requiring a hospital visit in Indonesia, and catching Dengue Fever in Cambodia, I wanted to write a post to share with you guys what to do, (before, during, and after), needing medical attention when traveling abroad.
When planning any trip to another country, you should consider getting travel insurance. It's often not incredibly expensive and can provide a world of difference in the unfortunate event you need to use it. For my two month trip, I purchased a plan through AXA that includes good medical coverage along with trip interruption, lost luggage, etc. It was only about $130 and will definitely be worth it considering I've already had one hospital visit and a flight cancelation.
Another thing you can do beforehand is find out what type of medical care is available in your area. For example, if you were traveling to Koh Phangan, Thailand, (where I'm currently on my way to), try googling "international hospital" or "medical care for foreigners Koh Phangan". Both of these searches will bring up relevant articles on the best hospitals for foreigners with English speaking doctors and it can often give you a much better feel of what you'll need to do in an emergency or non-emergency situation.
In addition to this, bring along a first aid kit with over the counter medications, bandages, and anything else you may end up needing.
You wake up with a high fever or fall and fracture your arm, what to do now? The first thing you should do is assess how badly you're injured/how sick you are. Will you need to see a doctor? Go to a hospital? An Ambulance? If you're healthy enough, you can call a taxi and have it take you to the hospital/doctor you read about beforehand. If there is a U.S. embassy in the city you're visiting, it will have a list online of good medical practices in the area.
Remember to stay calm, most countries have decent hospitals, especially international ones. Unless you're traveling to a remote area, you should be good. In the off chance you need medical evacuation, this is another good reason to have travel insurance as it's often covered.
Submit a claim. This only pertains to if you have insurance, but you can submit a claim, (with all medical bill receipts and documentation), and your insurance company will cover all expensive within their terms and conditions. Relax, drink plenty of fluids and don't let a minor injury/illness ruin your vacation!