Preparing for a Healthy Overseas Assignment
-- Frank Gillingham, MD
The practical points noted below (and discussed in detail elsewhere) allow the well-prepared expatriate to avoid considerable anxiety and frustration when the inevitable illness strikes. These points were developed with the help of dozens of HTH affiliated physicians and expatriates themselves.
- Visit your primary physician and dentist and obtain appropriate records.
- Choose a physician in your host country, for each family member, and arrange an introductory appointment.
- Learn about specific health risks of your host country and obtain vaccinations from a qualified physician.
- Translate the names of prescription and over-the-counter medications you use.
- Packaid kit.
- Understand the healthcare system in the host country.
- Learn local medical lingo so you can communicate effectively with healthcare providers.
- Develop a contingency plan for serious illness.
- Anticipate the psychological effects of expatriate life.
- Don't Dismiss foreign healthcare, which is excellent in many places. Differences with US care exist, but that doesn't meant the U.S. way is only effective way or even the best.
- Schedule well child visits prior to leaving.
- Become knowledgeable about childhood vaccinations.
- Arrange an appointment with appropriate specialist in your post country.
- Consider obtaining a bracelet or pendant indicating your important medical condition.
- Be vigilant for symptoms and other signs that your condition is worsening.
Remember, Travel Insurance from HTH can help protect your health and your vacation investment.