When you’re traveling, be it for business or leisure, the very last thing you’re expecting is to end up in hospital. However, accidents and illnesses often occur without warning. It is absolutely vital to know what to do should you end up seeing a doctor, go to the emergency room, or undergo an operation. An old adage states that prevention is better than cure, and that is undoubtedly true. It is far more beneficial to avoid an incident in the first place. But being prepared for emergency hospital stays abroad just in case can help alleviate stress and minimize any unnecessary costs. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what you should be aware of with regard to being hospitalised in a foreign country, and how you can remain as safe as possible in the first place.
Go to the Doctor Before Your Trip
Before your trip, it is always worth visiting a medical professional to get any medications you might require in the particular part of the world you are going to visit. If you can start taking any relevant tablets or ointments before illness has a chance to take hold, you will be in the best possible position to stay healthy. Take note to consider getting the necessary vaccinations, especially if you’re flying in a country with a particular health outbreak.
This should really go without saying, but it’s still absolutely worth highlighting. If you don’t get travel insurance you could end up paying for it – literally and figuratively – should you fall ill or get an injury while traveling. When you consider that visiting a hospital in the U.S. or in many other countries, could end up setting you back thousands, you start to realize just how vital travel insurance is. Get the best plan that is suited for your travel abroad. While most plan may not cover your hospital stay overseas, some companies come with partnered hospitals abroad that may be situated where you next travel destination is.
Understand Your Destination
Read up on the destination you’re visiting and be aware of potential challenges you might face. It is not always possible to fully research all of the difficulties that you could encounter, but learning as much as possible could help you out massively in the long run. Do what you can to stay healthy while traveling.
Have Your Documents to Hand
If you do end up having to go to the hospital, then having printed documents to hand is likely to massively speed up the entire process of getting treatment and, ultimately, becoming healthy. These documents should contain information detailing any medication you are currently on, your health insurance, the name, address and contact details of your medical practitioner at home, as well as next of kin information. It might also be worth carrying around a card that states your blood type, any long-term illnesses you have, things you are allergic to, and any other key information that could be useful.
Retain All Records of Spending
If you end up spending money while you are in hospital, regardless of what you spend it on, make sure to keep all of your receipts and records. Your insurer will require it when you get home. Otherwise, your stay in the hospital could end up costing you money you haven’t budgeted for.
See Your Doctor When You Return Home
It is important to go and see your doctor once you return home. Let them know what happened while you were abroad, raise any concerns should you have them, and then take any follow-up medication should it be needed. This means that you will be prepared should you require additional surgeries or treatments.