Temos outlines the following 10 rules of thumb when planning on traveling for a health procedure. I wanted to be sure to include this information, as it provides a handy checklist for any person in the planning stages of medical tourism.
- Prepare early and collect information about your travel destination.
- Have a health check up, get necessary vaccinations and take prophylactic drugs consistently.
- Get a travel health insurance that covers repatriation and offers 24h assistance.
- Eat and drink only what is considered “safe” in the respective region (e.g.: Follow the “boil it, peel it, cook it or forget it”-rule for all tropical countries, avoid ice-cubes, salads and fresh milk products).
- Protect yourself against mosquito bites (use repellents, wear light colors, sleep under mosquito nets).
- Protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases (use condoms).
- Stay out of the sun during the hottest hours of the day, use sunscreen, wear a sun hat or cap and sun glasses.
- Ask trustworthy locals for advice before bathing in unknown waters, climbing mountains or engaging in other potentially risky activities
- Bring your own first aid kit and some basic medication. If you suffer from any condition that requires regular medication, make sure to pack enough medicine for your trip and store it in different places (in your hand luggage and in your suitcase). If it is prescription only medicine, hold some form of documentation to prove your doctor has prescribed the drugs.
- Keep important telephone numbers (emergency call, insurance company, embassy) and documents (passport, insurance card, vaccination card) close to your body and store copies somewhere else (e.g. your suitcase, the hotel safe, your webmail-box on the internet).
If you follow these simple rules and also read our section “What to do in case of an emergency”, you will be better prepared than most. Enjoy your trip!