Being married to someone from another country means that I travel a great deal. For you see, my in laws are on the other side of the globe. While I am from America, my wife is from Australia, and that means that one of us is always going to be on the other side of the planet from our relatives. Thus, we travel back and forth between the two continents. Along with that, my job as a speaker and trainer for all things foster care and adoption also sees me traveling a great deal, as well. I truly live the life of a globe trotter, and I love it.
Yet, one of the perils, to be sure, is that of becoming sick while traveling. Indeed, some studies report that up to 20 percent of travelers become sick each year. Furthermore, out of that 20 percent, roughly 5 percent of these travelers require emergency care while traveling overseas. My daughter was one of these statistics last year. While working in Australia for a year, she had to be hospitalized and have her tonsils removed. As my wife and I were living in the United States, we were unable to make it over to her side in time. Make no mistake; it was a little scary.
As it is, many in the United States are confused when it comes to their own medical coverage, and even how to contact a doctor when an emergency should arise. Along with that, a great many of the nation’s citizens fail to understand that they might not be covered by their health insurance when traveling overseas. Indeed, many of the private medical insurance companies, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, do not cover emergency care while the traveler is overseas. Like my daughter, many travelers find out later that they have to pay out of their pocket when getting medical attention overseas.
What I have found even more challenging is finding a doctor while I am out of the country. That is, finding a doctor that will not only see me, but one that I can trust, as well. Furthermore, it can also be challenging finding a doctor that speaks the same language. To be sure, if I am unable to explain to the doctor what I am suffering from, and what my symptoms might be, it will be most difficult for the doctor to diagnose my problem, and treat it.
For today’s travelers like myself, technology makes that problem a little easier. I now have access to doctors and medical experts through the simple use of apps on my phone while I am overseas. If I should become sick while traveling, I can now talk directly to a medical doctor or provider. Without a doubt, this is not only incredibly helpful while I am in foreign countries, but it also gives me peace of mind, as well.
As I write this, my bags are packed, and I am heading off to another continent, where I shall be speaking at a conference. I feel more reassured, as a traveler, that I have access to medical assistance, not only for myself, but for my daughter the next time she travels, as well.
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