A health emergency abroad may mean the abrupt end to a vacation or business trip. Many people travel with some contingency plans regarding healthcare. They typically carry enough prescription medication to last through the trip, plus a little extra to cover delays. Others must receive vaccinations before traveling to certain regions of the world. People may stock up on over the counter remedies for colds, nausea, and traveler’s diarrhea, as well as basic first aid products. But a major unforeseen illness, accident, or injury can quickly become a health emergency overseas. Here are some tips to deal with a health crisis outside of the U.S.
Travelers should be familiar with their insurance coverage and its limitations. Be aware that many insurance plans do not cover medical services outside the U.S.,check with your insurance provider before traveling. Medicare does not cover seniors while traveling out of the country, although some Medicare supplements may provide some limited coverage. Anyone who suffers from a chronic medical condition may want to consider purchasing travel health insurance and medical evacuation/ repatriation insurance. Even with travel medical insurance, some services may have to be paid in advance by cash or credit card, so plan ahead. Save copies of all receipts and bills to submit to insurance later.
Medical Services on Cruise Ships
Most cruise ships have full infirmaries that are capable fo caring for minor illness to heart attacks. The services require payment in advanced and if the condition is serious they may need to evacuate you off the ship when at port.
Locating Appropriate Medical Services
A U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country you are visiting can help Americans locate appropriate medical facilities. Their website should have a list of local doctors and hospitals as well as other websites can provide health ratings ebven in other countries. The U.S. Embassy can assist in notify family at home of your medical emergency. A consular officer may be able to advise U.S. citizens who need to transfer funds from a U.S. bank to pay for services. Remember that in remote areas, medical services may be very basic and require transfer to another facility other than back to the United States in certain cases. If medical evacuation is necessary, it is easier to coordinate from a major city.
Medway Air Ambulance can transport patients worldwide in their state-of-the-art equipped Learjets. They will make all air and ground transportation arrangements and coordinate with the sending and receiving physicians. Medway Air Ambulance works with all major insurance companies and has an outstanding safety record.