Travel health is an important thing to think about to ensure your health and wellbeing abroad.
Before I leave for my travels I have a few things to sort out and since I haven’t left the UK for a long time, or at least to anywhere without adequate health care, I’ve let certain things lapse.
As soon as my voluntary redundancy was confirmed I went to see my Doctor who booked me in with the surgery’s travel clinic. I had no record of my previous vaccinations and no idea what I would need and which injections I would need to pay for.
It turns out that pretty much everything was either out of date or there was no record present. We’re lucky in the UK in that we have a pretty good health care system. Also we are a low risk country so the need for inoculations is less. However, as I discovered, I would need to be stuck several times with a needle to get me up to date. Sometimes paying handsomely for the privilege.
What did I need?
|Hepatitis B||2||£30 each|
|Tick-Bourne Encephalitis||3||£57 each|
I hadn’t budgeted this much for vaccinations so I was caught a bit off guard. Of course it is up to the patient if they wish to proceed with the recommended shots. I thought about it for a few days and decided to air on the side of caution.
As a side note, apparently nurses aren’t allowed to say ‘you might feel a little prick’ anymore. Now they have to use the word scratch. More PC rubbish.
For anyone who’s going to travel, I’d recommend seeing your Doctor at least 2 months prior to leaving for your destination. Also, check out the website Fit for Travel it will give you an idea of what injections you may need depending on your circumstances. If I’d looked at it before then the price wouldn’t have been such a shock!
Covering yourself for something that might happen.
It’s not a fun thing to spend money on but it’s worth getting especially if you are going far from home or to a country with limited or expensive health care. When I went to Tenerife I took a gamble and didn’t take out a policy. At the time I couldn’t find insurance for 10 days that was affordable. It was a risk and all I had to fall back on was my EHIC.
If, like me, you have pre-existing medical conditions then be aware that some insurers will load your policy to ridiculous levels, so it’s definitely worth shopping around. For my forthcoming trip, the 1st quote I obtained for was for £150. After some digging, I eventually bought my policy from Alpha Travel Insurance for £55 with a £100 excess.
I had to answer a health questionnaire and Alpha asked many more questions than other insurers. This made it possible to better assess my risk and therefore give me a lower premium. I hope I won’t need to claim but at least it’s sorted so I don’t have to think about it anymore.
I have pills for this and that as well as an inhaler for Asthma. I don’t want them to be taken from me at customs so I intend to take them abroad in a container baring my name, contents, Doctor, health centre etc. It might be overkill but if you are taking any prescription medications with you then it’s probably advisable.
Many medications will no doubt be available in the places I travel to but they might have different names and will certainly be in a different language.
I don’t want to accidentally take a menopause pill instead of a paracetamol. I might end up growing boobs!
My leaving day is slowly creeping up, it’s all becoming very real now!