By Beverly D. Roman
Global Emergency Medical Services states "of the 93.5 million Americans who travel internationally each year, an estimated 25 percent experience a medical problem or a medical emergency." What is really alarming about this statistic is that medical guidance is overlooked in 65 percent of relocation packages. And, surprisingly, the biggest threat to health while traveling isn't a mysterious illness contracted on foreign shores, but rather the flare-up of chronic health conditions, at the wrong time or the wrong place. Emergency situations are bad enough when you can ask questions and communicate your concerns, but when an emergency occurs in a foreign country, you need to know how to find medical care and a doctor who can speak your language. This article will provide medical considerations as well as basic safety concerns for relocatees and travelers.
Physicians recommend that you have a thorough medical, dental and eye examination before moving. Find out whether your health insurance policy is valid overseas and re view your medications with your doctor. Know that the legal use of drugs varies from country to country.
Obtain the following:
Upon arrival in a new country, it is easy to get carried away with the excitement of the experience and forget to follow simple safety rules. Here are some recommended travel tips to consider.
Emergency Medical Services, Inc. (GEMS), 800-860-1111.
Worldwide Assistance Services, 800-777-8710.
Medic Alert emblems, 800-763-3428.
Traveler's assistance is a relatively new credit card benefit. Twenty-four-hour emergency hotlines are standard, and most willrefer you to hospitals or English-speaking doctors, or arrange for prescription refills. Contact your individual credit card company before traveling abroad to understand their procedures.
The Centers for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov) provides health information for specific destinations regarding food and water qualities, vaccinations, infectious diseases, quarantine and more. Call toll-free 877-FYI-TRIP.
Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets (http://travel.state.gov) are available for every country of the world. Call 202-647-5225.
Reprinted with permission from BR Anchor Publishing. Beverly D. Roman, publisher, is the author of over twenty relocation titles and writes the popular newsletter, Relocation Today, that mails to more than 140 countries. Contact her at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or + 910.256.9598. On the web: www.branchor.com.