Getting sick on holiday

Posted Date: 29 May 2017
Get sick on holiday

You’ve been dreaming of this holiday for months, you’ve mentally packed your bags a thousand times and written lists for every situation needed. The last thing on your mind is falling ill or getting hurt, but unfortunately it can happen.

We don’t want to stop you from travelling to the far corners of the world, but we do want you to come home in one piece, so check out our travel tips to make sure your trip goes without a hitch.

A map of what’s hot and what’s not

Health organisation International SOS has published an International Health Risk map that highlights the standards of healthcare in popular tourist destinations around the world. It assesses the quality of medical and dental care, access to prescription drugs, infectious diseases, and cultural and language barriers around the world.

Where should I get medical treatment?   

If you need medical attention whilst overseas and you’re worried about the standard of care, call our Emergency Assistance team for prior approval as soon as possible on +64 9 359 1600. We will be able to review your claim, organise emergency evacuation if necessary, provide the hospital with a payment guarantee so you don’t have to pay up-front, and keep your family back home informed of your situation. Keep hold of your receipts and any doctor’s notes as we will need to see these alongside your claim.

Beware of steep medical bills!

We’ve all heard horror stories of someone hurting themselves in America and the medical costs financially crippling them because they didn't have travel insurance.

Some countries, such as the USA and Switzerland, have extremely high health care costs. You may have to pay for treatment, surgeries, medicines, medical supplies, ambulance transportation, nurses, doctors fees and more.

If you need emergency medical treatment and you don’t have insurance, the hospital may expect you to pay the bill. In some cases, they will require a large deposit before you receive any care.

Alternatively, if you are with Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI), please give us a call so that we can determine whether you are covered under your policy. If you’re covered, we will liaise with the hospital directly to arrange payment for your treatment.

What makes us sick?

At SCTI, some of the most common places that our customers get sick or injured include South East Asia, Indonesia, Philippines, Fiji and Bali. Some of the most expensive countries we see claims for include USA, France and Switzerland.

The most common illnesses we see claims for are gastro bugs, ear infections, flu-like illness, skin infections, allergies, insect bites and, of course, accidents.

What to do if you get sick

If you require medical care or incur medical expenses overseas that are likely to exceed $2,000, you or someone acting on your behalf will need to contact Southern Cross Emergency Assistance for prior approval as soon as possible on +64 9 359 1600.

We will be able to review your claim, organise emergency evacuation if necessary, provide the hospital with a payment guarantee so you don’t have to pay up-front subject to you meeting the terms and conditions of your policy, and keep your family back home informed of your situation. Keep hold of your receipts and any doctor’s notes as we will need to see these alongside your claim.

If you need to visit a GP for a minor medical reason, you don’t need to contact Southern Cross Emergency Assistance. Instead, simply pay your account and claim.

If you need specialist treatment (including physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment) you must get a referral from a registered medical practitioner.

Advice from the experts

Here are some top tips from the Emergency Assistance team here at SCTI:

  • Carry a basic medical kit with you on your trip
  • Keep a list of your prescription medications and known medical conditions in a handy place - in case of emergency this will be one of the first questions you will be asked by medical professionals
  • Ask your hotel staff if they can recommend a certified local facility or doctor who can come to the accommodation and see you if necessary
  • Always ask for a medical report and receipt for claiming purposes
  • In less developed countries, eat at the most popular food outlets - the food is more likely to be fresher with less chance of contamination
  • Avoid witch doctors at all costs

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Issued and underwritten by Southern Cross Benefits Limited trading as Southern Cross Travel Insurance. 

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