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Her Medical Emergency Abroad
Planning for the unpredictable...

Consult your own doctor before you go...

Prior to departure, your physician should be told that you are going on vacation and arrangements should be made for medical information to be relayed over the phone if necessary. In my friend’s case, his doctor’s office refused to accept a collect call when I called from France for help. Then when I got through by using a calling card, the office staff declined to provide any useful medical information to someone they didn’t know. A quick pre-trip call by my friend to his doctor could have prevented my very frustrating long distance exchanges.

Travel insurance is a must...

insurance policy Purchase a travel health and trip cancellation insurance policy. Not only is this an economically prudent thing to do in case your trip is cut short, but all good insurance companies offer access to a 24-hour toll-free number where you can speak to a doctor or receive help arranging medical care or emergency travel plans. Thankfully, through our policy, much needed excellent information that was unavailable through other channels, was provided at a critical time. I don’t know what we would have done without it!

What else is it called...

pillsFinally, because the trade names of prescription drugs vary from country to country, take along the pharmacological name of any prescribed drugs being taken as well as the prescribed doses. Make note, also, of any allergies to other medications.

Know what the medical condition is called in the language of the country you are visiting. This will free you from having to engage in an impromptu session of charades in order to communicate to foreign medical personnel.

Good medical stuff to know about...

Consider joining the International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT). This organization provides information on immunization, as well as listings of English-speaking physicians around the world. For further information call: 416.652.0137 in Canada or 716.754.4883 in the United States. On the Pacific Rim, write to: P.P. Box 5049, Christchurch 5, New Zealand. European travellers can write to: 57 Voirets, 1212 Grand Lancy, Geneva.

checkTraveling Healthy: Health Advice for the Global Traveler is a bimonthly newsletter offering health advice for the global traveller. Journeywoman has found many of their articles very helpful. For further info contact the publishers at: P.O. Box 13795, Milwaukee, WI 53213-0795, U.S.A.

checkIn his travel guide, Staying Healthy in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, author Dirk Schroeder offers a comprehensive overview of the most common health problems travellers encounter, along with tips on how to avoid them. Journeywoman is delighted with the “women-centered” medical advice that the author has included in this book. (Moon Travel Handbooks - ISBN 1-56691-026-9)

checkFree health service on the internet. poodleTravellers can now store their medical records in a secure on-line database at Should you find yourself in a medical emergency, this data can be viewed immediately by health-care professionals administering treatment anywhere in the world. This service can be a life-saver for people who become ill or injured while away from home.
This site allows you to enter your pet's health records online, too. Helpful if you travel with Fido or will be using a new veterinarian.

Women doctors for women travellers...

DoctorAuthors Tracey and Patricia Wilen suggest that “if you become ill while overseas, ask your hotel to recommend a doctor who speaks English. If you are alone with a male doctor, insist that a female nurse be present during any check-up.”

Authors Maggie and Gemma Moss suggest “it may well be possible to be seen by a woman doctor -- you certainly shouldn’t assume that there won’t be any -- particularly in Moslem countries ... If you can’t find a woman doctor and need a gynaecological examination, take a friend along as a chaperone, or insist on a nurse being present.”
(Source: Asia for Women on Business, Handbook for Women Travellers)


JourneyDoctor articles have been independently researched by Journeywoman Online. We thank Liberty Health for sponsoring this female-friendly information. Together, it is our aim to inspire women to travel safely and well.

Liberty Health LogoNo matter where you are traveling in the world, Liberty Health's TravelEase emergency travel health insurance can cover you. On the internet, you can get coverage immediately, 24 hours per day. It is just a click away.





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