3 ways to access the best medical care when you’re traveling

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When you’re traveling within the US, it’s relatively simple to access great medical care, even when you’re far from home. If you get taken sick, unexpectedly, and need to consult a medical professional, using the network of your usual healthcare provider is the first option. Alternatively, if you want to locate, for example, the ‘best doctors in Oklahoma’, a quick online search will bring up sites listing groups and independent specialists.

However, if you’re planning a trip overseas for work or just vacation, it’s wise to consider what you would do if you found yourself in need of unplanned medical care. What precautions should you take, and how can you find accredited medical professionals?.  Take these simple precautions to ensure you’re well-prepared.

At least four weeks before you travel, seek professional information about any specific risks related to your destination, as well as general travel advice.  You can find this on the Center for Disease Control, as well as most embassy websites.

Check your insurance

Before you travel check that your existing policy will cover you when you’re outside the USA, and what the policy is on pre-existing conditions.  Also, it’s vital to understand whether you’ll have to pay at the time of treatment, and reclaim the costs later?  The answers to these questions can have major implications if you need to seek medical care.

If you’re traveling on vacation will your regular medical insurance provider cover you for sports accidents? What if you need medical evacuation? While of course, these scenarios are unlikely to happen, if they do, it’s good to know exactly what you can access. It’s also essential to take out specific travel insurance which will cover your costs in case of emergencies.

Seek accredited providers

Especially in these times of pandemic, ensure you stay up to date about any travel restrictions imposed by the country you’re visiting.

Look for medical providers with international accreditation, for example, the International Society for Quality in Healthcare, to ensure they meet the highest standards in terms of care and facilities.

Depending on the country you’re traveling to, ensure that you’ll be able to access a network where the professionals can communicate in English. There’s no point in heading to the best doctor if you can’t understand each other clearly.

Medical records

Ensure you can access copies, including everything relevant to any condition, or allergies, that you have. Also, take details of any prescriptions and a list of all medicines you use.

If you seek medical assistance during your travel, ensure that you get copies of all your treatment records before you return home.

To summarize, the key to obtaining the best medical care when you’re traveling is to be well-prepared.  Don’t leave it until you need care, and have to start searching – or worse, have to put yourself in the hands of an unaccredited doctor. Your medical practitioners, the insurance company, and embassy websites are all great sources of information, so make sure everything’s in place before you go. Then, relax and enjoy your trip!