If you happen to get sick or injured abroad it is important to know what help options you can avail of. While it is unlikely, it is always better to be prepared and to know what you can do or where you can go if that is the case. Here are a number of things that can help you if anyone in your family runs into injury or illness abroad.
Who should I contact?
Research local doctor’s offices and hospitals before your visit, as well as on-call doctors in the area. When you arrive at your destination, you can also ask your accommodation staff for recommended healthcare options. If you are very stuck for support, The Irish Embassy are also an option.
How can The Irish Embassy help?
The Irish embassy can contact your family, friends or designated emergency contact in Ireland, as well as assist in transferring funds from family and friends at home if needed. They will help you to find English-speaking local doctors, medical facilities, air ambulance companies and English-language translators and interpreters to help you get the best care and treatment you need. They can also communicate with medical personnel or hospital authorities. However, they don’t provide medical interpretation or medical translations. They can’t, however, pay medical bills or expenses so it is always best to get travel insurance while holidaying with you family.
Why do I need travel insurance?
When going on a holiday abroad buying comprehensive travel and medical insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need. Just remember, not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip too.
European Health Insurance Card
As an Irish resident you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). Ensure you can access these services by having a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card is valid for five years, and note that every person needs their own card. Bear in mind that the EHIC is not a replacement for a travel insurance policy.
When prescribed medicine abroad always read the package leaflet provided with the medicines and always clearly discuss any concerns you may have regarding medicines prescribed. Make sure that you have full details of everyone’s regular medications, medical history, allergies and drug sensitivities with you on your holiday.