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Medical Help






Medical HelpOne of the most common problems people run into while on vacation is in regards to their health. While you can plan and plan and plan for potential emergencies (see ‘before you leave’ for important tips on this subject), when something happens you still have to be ready to react. Choosing the right course of action at the right time will save you stress, time and money along the way.


The best line of defense against unexpected health concerns is being prepared for them before you go. Along with checking insurance coverage, packing medication, and getting vaccines, plan out your reaction to certain medical situations. Be aware of the care you can provide for yourself and what you would need to seek attention for. Thinking about these unpredictable situations and planning your potential responses in advance can help you get the best care possible.


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If you are staying at an all inclusive resort in the Caribbean, there might be medical care available on site. Call ahead and read the fine print of your all inclusive policy to find out if basic medical help is covered, and if so, what is offered and where it is located. Resorts and other major hotels are there to provide services to guests, so do not be shy in seeking medical attention if needed. However, to avoid surprises, always check about potential costs ahead of time.


If you are not at a large resort, it is less likely that medical help will be included in your travel package and more likely that you will have to seek out a private clinic or hospital. Depending on the country you are visiting, medical help can be very different and you should prepare yourself for an experience unlike what you might be used to.


First, when seeking out a clinic or hospital, speak to the front desk staff at your accommodations or call a tourist information line. There may be special sites or services offered to visitors that can save you some additional hassle. This is also a good time to enquire about costs. Sometimes medical help is offered for free and often, if you have overseas insurance, it is completely covered. However, many procedures may carry additional charges or you may be expected to pay up front before services are rendered.


Once you have found the best place for treatment and are aware of potential costs, it is time to see a medical professional. Make sure that you are treated by a licensed doctor or nurse at a facility devoted to medical care. Depending on where you travel, not everyone in the medical profession speaks English. Carry a guide book or ask for a translator to ensure that you are receiving all of the information and care that is required. Do not be shy if you have trouble understanding or do not agree with the doctor – your health needs should be your top priority. If you are in doubt, get into contact with your medical provider in Canada or use a general line to contact a nurse. Getting a second opinion could save your life!


For some emergencies you may be offered prescription drugs to treat your condition. Make sure that you are receiving any drugs from an authorized dispenser and never accept any form of drugs from a stranger without seeing their licensing. Also, keep in mind that different countries have different regulations on drugs. What you receive in one country may not be permitted to enter Canada. Make sure to have open communication with Canadian health professionals or custom officials to make sure that you do not face consequences when returning home.


Preparing for health emergencies before you leave is integral to having a restful vacation. However, no matter how much preparation you put in, a medical emergency can have you scrambling for answers when you are on your holiday. Keeping in mind these important tips has huge consequences not only for you right now, but in the future as well.




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