3 MINUTE READ
Travel insurance is excellent and should be a part of any trip. However, sometimes you need a quick doctor visit. When you sprain your ankle, come down with the flu, or need a doctor to make a house call - whom do you call?
Travel insurance still leaves many open questions on how to navigate international medical care. Should you call your insurance provider for something so simple? Maybe you should, but I always travel with an alternative for the more insignificant medical needs.
Urgent and Non-Critical Care
I want a solution as simple as calling my doctor at home. I also do not speak medical in any language other than English. Therefore, English speaking doctors is also a high priority. That's where my membership to the International Association for Medical Assistance for Travellers (IAMAT) comes in handy.
Travel health is about awareness and prevention.
Medical Care Abroad Needs
By my third non-critical illness in Europe, I began to wish I knew more about basic medical care in Europe. A few years ago, it was my last night in the country, and I was cleaning my Airbnb. It was early Spring, and the rain made the stone walkways slippery. I stayed on the third floor. The stairs became exterior at the top of the second-floor landing. My hands were full of trash bags, and as my left foot hit that landing, it slipped. As I fell, I heard a loud pop.
My first thought was, "thankfully; I didn't roll down to the bottom of the stairs." The second thought was, "I just sprained my ankle."
As I sat on the landing, I had no idea what to do next.
It was at that moment that started thinking about basic care:
- Speaks English fluently
- Can travel to me
- Help me navigate local medical care if needed
- Correspond with my primary provider in the USA
- Transparent cost
So, How Can You Access English Speaking Doctors Overseas?
International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT) has been helping travelers stay healthy since 1960. Their service provides access to a directory of English speaking doctors. Their membership is free the first year.
IAMAT links travelers directly to vetted healthcare providers. The doctors make house calls and will help you navigate the local health care system, refer you to a specialist, and report back to your doctor. The first in-office consultation is a maximum of $100.
Pretty cool, right?
Who Can Join?
Anyone can join. IAMAT's members span ages and the globe, although most are American and Canadian.
Members enjoy a variety of travel styles: leisure, resort, urban, family reunions, cruise, adventure, expedition, and group tours.
What Does IAMAT do?
Access to IAMAT's reputable English-fluent practitioner directory. The directory covers more than 300 cities around the world.
IAMAT provides advice on vaccinations and health risks for all countries.
- Travel vaccines
- Pre-travel health planning
- Post-travel health planning
- What to do if you fall ill abroad
- Infectious diseases
- Insect bite prevention
- Travel and mental health
- Personalized travel health advice
How Much Does it Cost?
Membership is free for the first year. Renewals are available with a donation.
The doctors are not free, but they are affordable.
Is IAMAT a Charity?
IAMAT is a registered charity in the United States and Canada. Contributions are tex-deductable.
Donations support programs and scholarships that improve healthcare abroad. These programs help keep travelers healthy.
Is IAMAT Health Insurance?
No. IAMAT is a non-profit dedicated to travel health.
Is IAMAT Involved in Medical Tourism?
No. IAMAT does not coordinate services for elective overseas procedures.
Where can I find more information (source)?
If you think you have a medical emergency, call emergency services or your primary doctor immediately.
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