What to do in a medical emergency abroad
At Travel Insurance Facilities we understand that having to seek medical attention abroad can be extremely frightening and stressful, which is why we have created the following guide to help you cope in such a situation, and to understand how our 24 hour emergency assistance service can work on your behalf.
- Our emergency assistance team are called Emergency Assistance Facilities or EAF. EAF are a doctor managed emergency medical service, which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. You can contact EAF in an emergency by calling 0203 829 6745. For non-emergencies please call 0203 829 6558. You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- EAF pride themselves on clinical excellence, with a team comprising of specialists in aviation medicine and medical emergencies worldwide.
- If you need medical treatment abroad, (unless it’s an extreme emergency,) you should call EAF prior to going to hospital so that they can advise you on the best place to seek treatment. Many private clinics around the world seek to ‘trap’ tourists in need of medical help by charging extortionate rates, sometimes without even providing the necessary care. However if you contact EAF before you go to hospital, they can give you advice and liaise with the treating doctor to make sure you get the necessary care and attention you need, without falling victim to the tourist trap. You can contact an ambulance around the world by calling 112.
- When you contact EAF you will speak to a member of the operations team who will take down the basic particulars of your case, and allocate a case number. If necessary they will confirm that you are insured and provide the hospital or clinic with the appropriate billing instructions. Your case may be referred to one of the doctors on the team who will, if necessary, contact you to ascertain the exact nature of your injury or illness and then put in place the appropriate strategy to ensure that you receive the correct treatment and, if required, advice on your repatriation.
Below is a checklist of things you should know and do before you leave home;
- Put EAF’s phone number into your phone before you start your holiday – this should ensure you can contact them at any time, even if you don’t have your travel insurance paper work handy.
- Make sure that your phone has plenty of credit and charge throughout your holiday.
- Many people don’t realise that their phones aren’t set up to accept incoming calls or texts abroad – check with your phone provider that your phone will work abroad, otherwise you will have no means of contact.
- If you’re travelling in Europe please make sure you have a valid EHIC, which replaced the old E111. The EHIC is free of charge and will provide discounted or free medical treatment and medication in most state European facilities. If you use your EHIC we will wave your medical excess.
- Make sure you have declared any medical conditions to us, to make sure you’re fully covered – if your health or medication have changed since you purchased the policy, please contact our traveller’s health check line on 0333 006 9759.
- PLEASE NOTE you should never provide a medical facility with your credit card details or surrender your passport to anyone.