All travelers must have a contingency plan ready in case of a medical emergency while traveling abroad. Illnesses and injuries can occur without warning. Therefore, you must be ever ready to deal with it when and if it happens.
It is cliche, but I’ll say it anyway: better to be safe than sorry. Do not opt for long distance travel if you are not in perfect condition. Go for a physical medical examination, a few weeks before the planned trip. You want to ensure that there is no virus or bacteria brewing a war against the immune system. If undetected, you could end up spending their vacation nursing a disease in a crowded hotel or hospital room.
Ensure you have a comprehensive health insurance policy. Your insurance should cover medical emergencies, hospitalization, medical procedures and evacuation or transport. You may have to pay more for health insurance that provides good coverage while abroad. Just remember that the financial support of this policy that may result in the case of an emergency is worth every penny you paid for it.
Brush up on how to call emergency numbers in your destination. If you can not trust yourself to memorize a string of numbers, be sure to save them in the phone book or on a piece of paper so you can easily access them. If you have a pre-existing medical condition that can lead to an emergency situation, it is recommended that you always carry a mobile phone with roaming activate. You will be immediately able to seek medical help if needed.
It is important to carry relevant medical information about yourself. Your blood type, known allergies and pre-existing medical conditions and medications are essential for physicians to determine the appropriate medical procedure to follow.
If your medical emergency involves serious surgery, make sure the local medical institution is able to provide a quality operation service. Call your doctor at home and discuss the matter with him or her. If you do not need to have the operation performed immediately explore the possibility of getting transported to a better equipped center for the procedure.
If you want to be transported back home, you can hire international health care providers for medical evacuation or medical assistance. This usually involves air ambulance flights in a helicopter or fixed wing aircraft. They are not cheap, so make sure that medical assistance is included in your insurance coverage.
You can also hire a doctor accompanying you to return home. They are medical professionals, usually registered nurses or paramedics, accompanying a sick or injured person home. They ensure that all travel arrangements are complete for the trip. They also monitor the patient’s condition and administer the necessary drugs and other medical procedures during the trip.
Finally, if you are a member of international medical organizations such as International SOS and the International Association for Medical Assistance for Travelers, take advantage of their services to help take the measures and recommendations for you in the event of an emergency.