GUIDE: What To Prepare And Do If You Ever Get Sick Abroad
Strange food and drinks, shocking culture, shifting weather, and crazy, unplanned rides. These are just snippets of the things you’d experience if you travel. However, travelling abroad has its consequences: crimes, diseases, delays, just to name a few inconvenience. Speaking of diseases…. if you don’t get sick while abroad, you’re something else. While a trip to a hospital might not be on the list of your travel plans, you might as well prepare for it. Learning the ins and outs of the health care system of a foreign country comes with challenges, whether you’re feeling okay or not. If you’re packing for a trip or are out of the country now and looking for medical attention, taking a few precautionary measures might keep an illness from entirely spoiling your vacation.
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Seek help immediately
Tell someone right away if you think you’re sick, especially if you might be exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. Depending on the situation, there will likely be different protocols and points of contact in the event of an emergency. They will walk you through the process. It’s also advisable to carry a copy of, or at least remember, your latest medical record including shots, allergies, blood type, etc for record keeping.
Know when to self-medicate
For minor injuries or conditions, consider a trip to the pharmacy first, which could save you time and money. Here in the Philippines, locals consult pharmacists for many of the same ailments you would see a doctor for, ranging from a simple headache to the more complicated hypertension. Besides, certain drugs, like paracetamol, may be available over the counter. However, if you want to be sure, you may schedule an consultation with a doctor online.
Keep your medical insurance card with you
Medical insurance cards will have your policy number and insurance provider information, two imporantant things to know when you need medical attention. You must check with your insurance provider to find out if you’re covered abroad. Otherwise, your program will most likely require that you get covered by an international provider.
Bring Extra Medicine
There’s nothing simple about getting prescriptions filled while travelling abroad. Don’t count on someone sending you extras as mailing prescriptions across borders breaks laws in many countries. You should plan ahead: pack extra meds. Check local rules and regulations to ensure you can pass through customs with your medical prescription, then bring a supply to hold you over if your trip gets delayed —a safety precaution or a buffer when there are mandatory quarantines for international travelers, especially during these times.
Have an emergency credit card
Medical providers abroad usually expect cash as payment for medical treatment. Travel health insurance isn’t like most health insurance plans back home, where you hand over a co-payment and the rest is charged directly to the insurance provider. Hospital bills and other expenses will be your responsibility. Being prepared with an emergency credit card can help you handle those charges. Don’t worry, you may file for reimbursement with your travel medical insurance.
Secure all papers and receipts
Remember to get the documents treatments you received and an actual medical report. You’ll need these documents when you file an insurance claim. Before you leave the hospital, make sure you have noted their name, address, and contact numbers because this will be important when you make a claim.
File a health insurance claim
A health insurance claim is when you request reimbursement for health care services that you’ve already obtained. The way to obtain benefits or payment is by submitting a claim via a specific form or request. Visit this link to find out how.