Going abroad for medical treatment is a common choice among many patients these days. There are various reasons for people to opt for medical services in another country, including cost-saving, better facilities, more experienced medical personnel, access to special procedures, etc.
If you have ever traveled before, you should understand that certain items need to be brought along to serve certain purposes. This is especially true when you go overseas. Due to differences in geography, culture, and lifestyle, travelers will generally have difficulty buying what they need in a foreign country. Here, we have compiled a medical travel checklist that you can use to better prepare for your trip abroad.
GO.CARE’s Medical Travel Checklist
1. Passport and visa
After choosing your destination country and hospital, the first thing to do is to check whether the country requires a visa to enter. Sometimes, only a valid passport is necessary. In most cases, however, a visa is essential to cross the borders. As the process of visa application can be very time-consuming, it is advisable that you take action as soon as possible.
For the passport, don’t forget to update it if necessary. In some countries, your passport is required to be valid for six months after your planned return. Also, it is advisable that you take a mobile phone picture of the passport. This will come in handy in case you lose it and need to contact your consulate. If possible, send the picture to your own email account as an extra precaution.
2. Medical records
Before you travel abroad for healthcare treatment, it is necessary to prepare your previous medical records. These include your X-ray reports, prescriptions, immunization records, attestations from the local doctors about any unusual medications you may have been taking, etc. Make sure that the records are up-to-date, and don’t forget to make a few copies in case you need them later.
3. Currency/ credit cards
Well, this is pretty much self-explanatory. Before embarking on your journey, make sure to estimate the total costs in advance, and plan accordingly. A common mistake many medical travelers make is to only take into account the medical costs. In fact, a large part of your overseas spending will be on transportation, accommodation, and daily living. Without proper budget management, you are likely to end up in serious trouble.
Aside from local currency, you should also prepare your traveler’s check and credit/ debit card. Remember to inform your bank/ credit card company about your traveling dates, and ask them for information about free international ATM. Bring additional cards in case one of yours does not work.
You may be interested in: 8 Budgeting Tips for your Medical Trip Abroad.
4. Travel insurance documents
Emergency situations (e.g: natural disaster, terrorist attack) are not rare while traveling abroad. If you are caught up in such situations, chances are you will have to cancel your flight/ hotel booking. Without travel insurance, no money will be refunded for your cancellation. Many travelers decide not to buy travel insurance for the sake of cost-saving. In fact, by spending just a few dollars per day, you can potentially save thousands of dollars.
As of now, there are numerous companies that provide travel insurance programs. Hence, it should not be difficult to pick one that best suits your needs and budget. However, make sure that the insurance you buy covers all types of medical care expenses. Regarding the clarity of the dependents and insurance claim procedures, you should consult with your insurance agent first.
It is not uncommon for travelers to experience health problems during their medical trip. Therefore, before going abroad, you need to prepare a few medications, namely:
- Your regular prescriptions.
- Painkillers (e.g: aspirin, paracetamol).
- Over-the-counter medicines (e.g: diarrhea medicine; antihistamine; antacid; cough medicine; mild laxative…)
- Allergy medicine.
- Sleeping pills.
- Multivitamin supplements.
- Eye drops.
6. Medical supplies
Aside from the aforementioned medications, you should also stock up on some necessary medical items. Some of them include:
- Needles/ sterile syringes.
- Spare glasses.
- A mosquito net.
- Contraceptives (e.g: condoms, birth control pills).
- Hand sanitizer/ wipes.
- First aid kits.
- Antiseptic solution to treat wounds.
- Blister/ wound patches.
- Sting relief solution.
- Antifungal cream.
- Medical alert bracelet
7. Comfortable clothes
Bring different types of comfortable clothes to wear before and after the treatment. You should get to know about the weather in your destination country at the time of travel. That way, you can determine what kind of clothes to bring. For example, do not bring thin clothes if it is expected to be cold there.
The types of clothes you may include in your luggage include pajamas, shirts, tops with buttons on the front, sweaters, jackets, socks, towels, and shoes. If possible, pack your travel laundry detergent in case of a spill emergency.
Generally, most hotels and hospitals that frequently serve foreign travelers will provide food for you. However, it never hurts to bring some types of snacks in case of an extended stay.
9. Flight tickets & Emergency Contact Number
Prepare your flight tickets, either in print or digital format on your mobile phone. Don’t forget to bring your medical confirmation document at the foreign hospital, including the hospital’s contact. This will come in handy if an emergency situation ever comes up.
10. Other personal items
In addition to the above-mentioned important items, it is advisable that you include your own necessities as well. These can be a pen to fill out some forms, a portable energy bank, earplugs, headphones, a scarf to keep you warm, and so on.
Some patients who seek treatment abroad may take advantage of the recovery time for a walk around the city. If you are one of those, bring a guidebook around the city so you know which attractions to visit.
No matter what your purpose of traveling abroad here, you need to make careful preparation in advance. Showing up at your airport without an up-to-date passport, forgetting to bring your regular prescriptions, or leaving your necessary medical records at home can cause you great trouble. That’s the reason why we have compiled this medical travel checklist. Hopefully, with this guideline, you will be able to have a successful – and memorable medical trip abroad!
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GO.CARE does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.