What to do if you get ill abroad

Whilst for the majority of us our holiday’s go off without a hitch, sometimes however, the worst does happen, and we become ill or injured whilst on holiday. And with the panic surrounding the Coronavirus – and the Brexit debacle still looming, we thought we’d give you a guide to help you know what to do if you get ill abroad.

Take out insurance

If you travel without an EHIC or any kind of insurance, if you become ill, or seek medical attention you could be in for an expensive surprise. A word of caution, even with an EHIC and insurance you may still have to pay for your healthcare and then claim it back once you’re home. Like in the UK, if you require a prescription you will have to pay for that too.

However, if you’re holidaying in France and become ill, it’s always worth heading to the pharmacy before going to the doctor’s as they are trained medical professionals too and can offer consultations. We’ve even got a pharmacy in Saint Julien des Landes – so you can grab some paracetamol on the way to get your pain au chocolat.

Top tips

  1. Remember to carry your travel insurance documents with you, or make a note of your policy number, and the emergency telephone numbers.
  2. Keep a note of any medication you are currently taking so that if you fall ill whilst on holiday, they know what you are taking.
  3. If you need non-emergency medical treatment always contact your travel insurer before you seek medical attention.

Travelling with an EHIC

Currently the European Health Insurance Card is till valid for Brits travelling to Europe, however, in the future this may change.

If the country you’re staying in provides free healthcare to its residents, you should have free-health too. If the state provides health care at a low cost, then it’s likely you will incur this charge. Your EHIC only applies when you’re having treatment at a state hospital, or Doctors surgery. If you are seeking treatment at a private hospital or private GP practice you will be charged –  and normally their emergency rate.

It’s worth noting an EHIC alone will not cover the cost of repatriation or any other travel hassles such as lost luggage or cancellations. It also doesn’t cover all medical conditions.

Top tips

  1. Download the EHIC app.
  2. If you had to pay a medical bill, try make a claim before you come back to the UK – or at least get the ball rolling.
  3. Ask for copies of any relevant paperwork, as well as any bills.

 

Learn the local lingo

If you or a member of your party does become ill or suffers from an injury whilst you’re away, try and translate before you go. The Google translate app works wonders – and if you download the language before you go, you can use it offline too.

Translate where the pain is, how intense it feels, how long you’ve been felling ill/ how the incident happened. This will all help the doctors diagnose the problem for you.

Note down emergency numbers

112 – Emergency number (like 999)

15 – medical emergency

17 – police

18 – fire brigade

115 – social emergency

116 000 – missing children

114 – national centre for emergency calls for users with disabilities

And don’t forget, when you holiday with us, we’re on hand to help out too if you do fall ill on holiday.