Traveling Abroad

Healthcare Awareness When Traveling Abroad

Traveling abroad can be exciting and scary, especially for first-time world travelers. Possible vaccinations, passports, visas and medical information must be in order as well. Once those matters are cleared up, all that’s left is packing and preparation for a fun time and adventure. Aside from vacationing overseas, medical tourism is also increasing.

As more and more people choose European and Asia countries for vacation spots, there are issues that could pop up and cause concern. One such issue is an unexpected health scare and being thousands of miles away from your primary care physician is certainly an inconvenience. Thanks to the internet, medical help is only a few clicks away should such an emergency arise. In the meantime, below is medical service information on five popular overseas tourist destinations.

Great Britain

Millions of people fly back and forth to jolly old England to see Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the beautiful countryside and enjoy a taste of fish and chips. Visitors can take comfort in knowing that medical services are widely available across the pond. While free care under the National Health System is allowed for UK residents and EU nationals, tourists and short-term visitors will be charged a significantly higher fee for medical treatment compared to the United States. Therefore, travelers should ensure they have adequate medical insurance coverage.


Many are drawn to the romantic, old world charm and cuisine Italy has to offer. Naples and Venice are major tourist attractions along with the Vatican City of Rome. Tourists need to be aware of the fact that in portions of southern Italy, residents have permission to burn garbage which results in toxic emissions. This is due to lack of adequate trash disposal and incineration sites. Medical facilities are available, but may be limited in outside urban areas.


One of the hottest tourist attractions in Spain is Ibiza. The popular beach town has long been recognized for its vibrant nightlife and wild all-night parties. Regarding Spain in general, vacationers should know that while good medical care is available, Spanish regulations do not allow the international shipment of medication. Medical treatment is comparable to that of the United States. In case of an emergency, visitors can dial 15 to connect to emergency medical services or dial 112, which is the Europe-wide emergency system similar to the U.S. 911 system.


Thailand’s glorious beaches and spectacular sunsets beckons tourists year after year. The urban regions have adequate medical treatment facilities, but English-speaking providers are rare in rural areas. The medical centers in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Pattaya provide routine, long-term emergency health care.


What could be more romantic than spending an evening in Paris in front of the Eiffel Tower or enjoying dinner at a French cafe? So falling ill in the City of Lights would certainly put a damper on things. For non-emergency medical assistance, visitors may refer to the embassy’s list of medical professionals.

About Mary Abe