Going abroad means fun, but that is not all. There are a lot of responsibilities that tag along with you on your overseas business trip. In the absence of due caution and preparation, you can get stuck in situations difficult to deal with. Overseas business trip poses many challenges, and these challenges only accentuate in case of emergencies—especially medical emergencies.
Medical emergencies are called so because of reasons. They can happen to you regardless of who you are, where you are, and what you have.
While abroad, you are faced with not only the urgent medical condition but also the lack of requisite familiarity with the surroundings. Hence, it is advised that you keep in mind a few tips that can help you manage medical emergencies intelligently.
Here are ten tips to keep in mind for your own sake.
- Keep a stock of medicines for common illnesses
First thing first: you need to prepare a good stock of medicines which deal with common diseases such as common cold, nausea, and headaches. While you can find these medicines very conveniently everywhere, it is pointless to leave them behind when they take little space in your bag and help a great deal.
Think about it, would you rather go outside and purchase a medicine from a drugstore abroad when you have a severe headache, or open up your bag and get one from there without having to step outside?
- Special conditions need special attention
If you are dealing with a particular medical condition such as cardiovascular disease, then you must bring along the medicines prescribed to you. You cannot rely too much on pharmacies abroad regarding this. Trust what your doctor has prescribed you and take it along with you wherever you go.
Who would want to go around looking for a specialist in a foreign country and re-do the whole diagnosis and prognosis procedure? Plus, it will cost you a lot of money.
- Check the status of the medications
You cannot simply pack up every medicine you have and fly down to a foreign country. NO! You must do a check on whether the medicines you wish to take along with you are legal in the country of visit.
For example, in Japan, you are only allowed to bring a two-month supply of over-the-counter medications. In the United States, like any other country, the Food and Drug Administration issues a list of permissible medications which travelers can bring along.
- Go through Your Medical Insurance
This one is as important as giving yourself medications because it can save you from a lot of troubles. Read the policy of your medical insurance to note whether it covers you while traveling abroad. If it does, very good; if it does not, then consider purchasing an additional policy from an independent insurer. Many times credit card companies also offer discounted medical treatments abroad.
- Contact Details
If you want to able to handle emergencies with utmost immediacy, then you must keep close certain contact information with yourself. You should consider making an emergency contact card, maintaining copies of your bio-data and medical prescriptions, and saving the contact information of your country’s embassy in the visiting country. You should consider registering your trip with the embassy to be able to contact them on an urgent basis.
- Know Local Emergency Facilities
Before you book a hotel or rent a home, you must review the location well beforehand. Whichever location you choose, do thorough research on it, whether online or through anyone you know who can verify the information. Make sure that there is a medical facility nearby so that you are well-connected and able to handle emergencies without delay.
- Consider Joining An International Medical Service
You might not know about this, but there are several international medical membership organizations which assist in making arrangements during emergencies. They help their members with insurance claims, provide references to highly qualified physicians, many of whom even make house calls to your place of accommodation, and others. You can start with International SOS and Travelers Emergency Network, but there are other organizations too.
- Emergency Call Information
If you are abroad, you must know the emergency call details operating there. If you are in the United States, you call 911; in the European Union, you call 112; in India, you call 112; in Hong Kong, you call 999. So, the point is that you should know which number to call when faced with a medical emergency.
- Inform Your Companions
If you have companions on your trip, then you should provide them with all the necessary information about your medical condition. Tell them what they need to do in case your condition surfaces and affects you. Give them a detailed account of what should be done so that you can avoid doing everything on your own.
- Take Good Care Of Yourself
Of course, I know this is quite obvious, but not as much obvious as it should be. We tend to get carried away by the new and refreshing atmosphere abroad causing us to engage in activities which can be dangerous for our health.
For example, if you suffer from acute gastrointestinal problems, then refrain from spicy food is a rule you cannot break even when abroad. You can, of course, eat a little bit of what’s not allowed, but do not gulp all of there is down your throat.
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