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What to do when you need medical attention on your travels

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When you’re travelling, you’re aiming to have a good time. Unfortunately, there often things trying to get in your way. Two of the things that try to spoil your fun are being ill or getting injured. Both of these events are upsetting when you’re at home, but they can be even worse when you’re travelling. Even when you’re a grown adult, being ill when you’re away from home can make you want your mum to look after you.

This post is about what to do if you’re already sick, but read here how to avoid travel sickness

Seeking medical attention in a foreign country can be scary, but if you need treatment, then you have to be brave. Make sure you follow these steps if you need help.

Know Where to Go in an Emergency

Not every medical situation will be an emergency. However, sometimes you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If it’s a life-threatening situation, calling an ambulance is usually your best option. You need to know the local emergency number so you can call for help. However, sometimes there are other steps you should take. For example, many countries have urgent care units that will deal with injuries or illnesses that aren’t as serious. They can treat broken bones or recommend the right place to go for treatment.

Look for a Doctor Who Speaks Your Language

If you need to see a doctor when you’re travelling, it’s always useful if you can communicate openly. Finding someone who speaks English or another language you speak will make things easier – for example, if you have already taken medication or CBD, it will be important for you to make this fact understood. This helps doctors decide how to proceed with treatment. If you’re not sure where to go, you can search online or speak to your embassy. They can give you a list of recommended people to see. However, don’t get too hung up on language if you need immediate attention. You can muddle through, or the hospital or doctor can find you an interpreter. You can also take someone with you if you know anyone who speaks the local language.

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Try an Online Doctor

For some things, you might not have to go to and visit a doctor. You can use an online doctor to get the services you need. These can work in a couple of ways. For example, you might already have seen a doctor, but you need to get medication. You can order things like antibiotics for chlamydia or a new inhaler for your asthma. You can also order non-prescription things, like testing kits for STDs. Another option is to make an appointment with a doctor over video chat. You can discuss your symptoms, and they may be able to prescribe something or recommend something for you to do next.

This post is about what to do if you’re already sick, but read here how to avoid travel sickness

How Are You Paying?

When you’re abroad, it’s important to consider the cost of medical treatment. Hopefully, you have travel insurance that will cover any expenses you incur. In some countries, you might have reciprocal health care with your home country. However, don’t worry too much about costs. Even if you’re not yet sure how you’re going to pay, if you need medical attention, it’s best not to delay it. If it’s something that can wait until you get home, then do. But otherwise, don’t put it off.

Being ill or sustaining an injury when you travel isn’t fun, but it can be a learning experience. It might be hard, but it can also help to toughen you up.

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