How to handle a medical emergency while travelling abroad

People are constantly on the move  beyond continents now on holidays, business  or studies. They travel through familiar and unfamiliar  regions. While in a foreign land, they should expect the most unexpected at any time, a sudden illness  due to food poison, an accident, for that matter, a medical emergency. We look at how such a situation should  be handled and the precautions you should take before embarking on a long journey.

Possibility of a medical emergency

Primarily  what you should  be aware of while preparing  for a journey abroad is the possibility of a medical  emergency, especially if you are undergoing treatment  against some illnesses such as Asthma, heart problems, diabetes, high BP,  cancer or arthritis, which requires regular medications on time. It means ,  you may talk to your doctor prior to your journey about the country you plan to visit, the climate you expect there and how many days you would be there.  The doctor can suggest what medicine you should carry with you. They will also advice you to carry your treatment papers with you.

 Even if you are  very healthy and don’t require a  medicine kit , you may carry some  medicines for common cold, altitude illnesses , diarrhea,  bug bites etc., and pain killers and balms for self treatment before   seeking medical help in the host country, because a climate change or unfamiliar food  can easily spoil your happy journey. 

Suitable cloths

You have to carry suitable cloths according to the climate in the country  you visit.


 Some countries insist on certain pre-journey  vaccinations for the visitors . You have to take those vaccinations in advance.  

Type of medicines  you can carry with you

Check  with the  host country’s embassy in your country  about the medicines you can carry to that country  as some countries won’t allow some foreign medicines in their  land. 


Check your insurance papers  to find out whether your present  policy covers health expenses abroad and if necessary evacuation.  Some travel companies are also offering travel insurance that covers  medical expenses abroad including evacuation , along with the ticket, for which they charge extra . Insurance is a must  to meet health emergencies abroad as treatment is very costly in some places.  

It is also good  if you check in advance about the health facilities available at your  destination, especially the place is a rural area. Communication is not a big  problem now as most hospitals have English speaking staff.

Local  currency

Keep some local currency  with you, which will be helpful in many occasions.