Health advice for travellers

It is important to ensure that you take care of your health when travelling abroad.

In addition to the inherent risks associated with travelling to remote destinations and adventure holidays, there is also the risk of global terrorism.

Before travelling it is important to consider the implications for your health and be prepared for them.

A number of resources are available providing essential health information to keep you safe when travelling.

Fit for Travel

The ‘Fit for Travel’ website run by NHS Scotland is available to all United Kingdon residents and is an excellent resourece for health information for anybody planning to travel abroad.

link to ‘Fit For Travel’ website

UK Government Travel Advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office website provides information on areas where there are local circumstances that make travelling to certain destinations unwise.

Travelling to remote areas or to developing countries also carries the additional risk of substandard medical care should you have an accident or become ill.

Destinations may have specific health risks such as malaria or yellow fever and it is important to ask about specific risks before booking your holiday.

Link to Foreign Office Travel Advice

Travel Insurance

It is surprising how many people travel abroad with either inadequate or no insurance at all. When purchasing travel insurance people regularly fail to read the small print and if they should have an accident or fall ill while abroad find that they are not insured and have to pay the cost of hospital treatment themselves. This can easily run into many thousands of pounds which can threaten your financial security.

Some tips to consider when purchasing travel insurance:

  • European Health Insurance Card (E111) – always carry a valid E111 when travelling within the European Union.  When the country leaves the European Union in around 2 years time the E111 will no longer be valid unless the Government negotiates alternative arrangements.
  • Always purchase travel insurance when travelling abroad, even when travelling within the European Union. Although, carring an European Health Insurance Card (E111) will entitle you to emergency treatment, it will not cover the cost of repatriation should you be unable to travel home independently.Should you have an accident or significant illness medical costs can easily reach many thousands of pounds.  If you travel abroad without health insurance you risk being stranded abroad.
  • Inform insurers about all your medical problems and request written confirmation and request written confirmation about your level of cover.   Should you be unfortunate enough to make a claim whle abroad,  the insurance company will normally contact your family doctor for health information to help them provide you with assistance.   |If they discover any information in your medical history that you failed to declare when purchasing travel insurance, your insurance cover may be cancelled.
  • Do not get caught out , make sure that you inform the company selling travel insurance in writing about any medical conditions that might affect your claim.
  • Check the small print on your travel insurance,  satisfy yourself that the cover is adequate for your intended destination and that the cost of repatriation is included.