Getting Medical Treatment Abroad

Travelling abroad can be a great adventure. But amongst all the excitement, there is a chance you might get sick or have an accident, resulting in the need for medical treatment. You might even need unexpected emergency treatment as the result of a pre-existing medical condition.

What do you need to know about getting medical treatment abroad?

  • Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance. Your travel insurance will cover the cost of emergency medical treatment whilst you are abroad. can cover you, even if you have a pre existing medical condition.
  • Travel insurance is not Private Medical Insurance, in that it only covers unavoidable, unexpected emergency treatment. You are not covered for private medical treatment if the 24/7 assistance company have confirmed medically capable public facilities are available. If you are insured with and you sustain a minor injury while on holiday, you must call the 24/7 assistance team so that they can help you find appropriate treatment locally. Tell them that you are insured by Good to Go Insurance and give them your policy number.
  • If you have any symptoms that might require emergency treatment, including difficulty breathing, chest pain, seizure (fit) activity, decreased level of consciousness, heavy bleeding, sudden swelling of the face and lips, signs of a stroke or any other life threatening condition, call the local emergency services immediately. 112 in Europe, 911 in the USA and Canada, or the local equivalent to 999
  • In all cases, you must call the 24/7 assistance team to authorise cover. This will ensure your claim remains valid. Failure to call the assistance team could result in you having to pay for your own treatment
  • If you will need special medical care while you are abroad (e.g. the use of a dialysis machine) contact the local hospital before you leave to find out if they can meet your needs. (any costs connected with this will not be covered by insurance)
  • If you take regular medication, make a note of the name of it and translate it into the local language in case you lose it or run out of supplies
  • If you have an allergy, make a note of it and translate it into the local language if you can
  • While you are at the hospital request an English speaking doctor if there is one available
  • Make sure all medicine you receive abroad is labelled. You might need to tell a doctor what you have been taking once you get home
  • If you receive medical treatment abroad, and you have insurance the 24/7 assistance team will deal with bills directly and you should not pay them yourself. You simply need to pass any correspondence about bills to the claims administrator to ensure you get full financial protection. (hang on to any receipts or prescriptions)
  • Take a first aid kit with you - it could prevent the need to seek medical treatment. Pack antibiotics, pain killers and diarrhoea tablets
  • Take a phrasebook that contains basic medical terms or a medical Kwikpoint visual translator