Often, quality medical care can be found in developing nations, with lower costs and an opportunity to have a holiday at the same time. For these appealing reasons, the trend in medical travel is increasing. That said, there is a lot to consider for everyone involved when it comes to medical tourism. Obviously, it is a great and affordable option, if you have an accredited (world-class) provider looking after your care.
So, if you are intending to travel for medical reasons and a possible pandemic arises, is it pandemonium? Is it safe to travel? Does your travel insurance cover you to depart the country early? Could you get home if a crisis does arise in my holiday destination?
I’ve often advocated for travel for carefully considered medical and dental care during my career. Does COVID-19 change that opinion for the time-being? Sadly, yes it does.
Despite the spread continuing, the mortality rate is quite low at present. However, with media ensuring the situation is front of mind on a global scale, it is common in this environment for panic, leading to insurance companies being pressured to cover claims, medical staff being pushed under a growing burden and so on. Frequently, parties find it harder to communicate at this time and when this happens, it is usually the patient that suffers the worst.
What can go wrong? Closed borders, lack of insurance coverage (both medical and travel), the inability of medical teams to extract patients from current locations to safe havens since the medical fraternity need to ensure that the chain of spread is not allowed to continue.
So, what does that mean in terms of where I can travel? Currently, you should look up the nations that your home country does not recommend travel to. Travel advisories such as smartraveller.gov.au (for Australians traveling abroad provide clear information about travel risk etc. You should contact travel agencies to confirm current travel restrictions such as airlines reducing or ceasing certain travel routes to contain the spread. Ensure that you have drivers’ license, insurance documents, travel documents and passport on hand and leave certified copies with loved ones at home. If documents are lost this can help you get back on track with replacements much faster. You should also know that you may be quarantined at any checkpoint. Do you have enough money to stay remotely for longer than your expected travel? What will be the impact on your employer or your job? You should also check your health prior to departure with a GP check up.
You should also trust yourself. If in doubt, governmental assistance, medical providers in your local area and insurance companies provide advice to ensure safe travel. If you want further advice regarding your decision to travel, contact healthcarechannel.co or reach out to me via LinkedIn
Lastly, stay safe and if you are currently worried about travel, trust your instincts.
Healthcare Consultant – Medical Assistance – Insurance
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