The healthcare system varies per country. If you’re a frequent traveler, it helps to have an idea of how it works in the country you’re visiting. This is extra helpful if you’re traveling with family members or vulnerable individuals, such as elders, pregnant women, or young children.

It’s usual to see the government paying for a portion of a citizen’s medical bill. But this isn’t always the case. There are also situations when private individuals pay out of pocket, especially those without health insurance from their employers.

It’s hard to say which health care system is the best, so it helps to be prepared. Medical expenses can rise quickly. And it’s tough when there’s no financial aid available to you.

With that being said, always be prepared when traveling. It’s good to have an international clinic number that you can use to connect to your healthcare provider when you’re away.

Here are more health and safety tips worth keeping in mind.

1.) See your doctor before going. Be sure you’re fit to travel abroad.

See your doctor at least six weeks before leaving. You may need certain immunisations, and some of them may require several doses. Vaccines have to be allowed the time to establish on your system so you can make the most out of them. If you have existing medical conditions, your doctor can also write down a prescription for you or a note, in case you need it. Don’t forget to take note of their international clinic number.

2.) Understand your health insurance better.

It also pays to contact your health insurance provider to verify if you’re covered for international travel. If you are, know how much and which situations you’re covered for. If not, consider getting health insurance before you go. You can apply for one to cover the days that you’ll be away, as well as a little allowance once you’re already back home. This can mean that you won’t have to spend as much as the coverage is only good for one-time use – only for that specific travel and duration.

3.) Check travel advisories.

Travel advisories are updated regularly. Stay tuned to know what you can expect once you land at your destination. There may be outbreaks in certain areas or weather-related common sickness. If you’re traveling to Singapore, for example, there are times when haze becomes a major concern, and wearing a mask becomes necessary when you’re out in public.

4.) Bring your medications with you.

Don’t forget your medication, including vitamins. Pack them ahead of time, and bring a little extra in case you need to extend your stay. Medications are also available in other countries, but should you need immediate relief, it helps to have them within reach. Also, getting medicines can be challenging when you’re in another country as language barriers, availability of medical supplies, and transportation issues can get in the way.

Take the time to learn basic conversational language before you go. It’s useful if you must head to local pharmacies or medical facilities. And again, keep the contact number of your international health clinic in Orchard, or any office location in Singapore, so you can consult with your doctor should you have urgent concerns.

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