Travelling to Asia? Want to travel to Asia? Asia is a destination with so much to offer whatever type of holiday you dream of. Whether you are the type of traveller looking to relax on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches in Bali, or maybe you want to sample the culture and food of Japan. Or have you always wanted to see the sun rise over the Taj Mahal in India? If you’ve got a medical condition you could feel that these destinations may not be achievable within your travel reach.
Travelling around Asia is a fantastic experience, giving you the chance to see some of the wonders of the world, experience the famous hospitality of the Asian people and sample some of the world’s favourite dishes. However, Asia can often be seen as too challenging a destination for travellers with pre-existing medical conditions.
However, at ERV we don’t believe that a trip to Asia should be out of reach if you suffer with a pre-existing medical condition. We have some travel tips for visiting Asia with a medical condition, including the best destinations to visit, and things to consider before you plan your trip.
Planning your trip is one of the most important factors when travelling with a pre-existing medical condition. Wherever you plan to go travelling within Asia you should visit your local medical practitioner at least 6 weeks before your trip to discuss any medical requirements that may be needed for your destination.
There are a number of vaccinations that are recommended for travelling in Asia so speak to your GP or nurse. Ensure you know where you plan to travel and if you plan to visit more remote areas as this will impact on what vaccinations you may need. Also if you are visiting a developing Asian country it is important to ensure that you have you boosters up to date.
It is also good opportunity to ensure that you have filled out your prescriptions for the duration of your trip and to bring a double supply in case there is a delay or your medication is lost or stolen. In most Southeast Asian countries, except Singapore, you can buy many medications over the counter, but it can be difficult to find some of the newer drugs, such as blood pressure pills and anti-depressants.
You should also take into consideration any documentation you may need to carry in order to take your medication with you on your flight. A signed, dated letter from your physician describing your medical conditions and medications, including generic names, is recommended. Pack medications in their original, clearly labelled containers. See our advice page on travelling with prescriptions for a more detailed list of what you will need to do in advance of your trip.
Health issues and the quality of medical facilities differ enormously depending on where you travel in Asia. Many travellers worry about contracting a disease when travelling in Asia, but infections are a rare cause of serious illness or death for people travelling. It can be relatively common to become ill whilst in Asia though, with diarrhoea or ‘traveller’s tummy’, but these illnesses are easily prevented and treated.
Asia is a vast continent with varied levels of medical care and when travelling with a medical condition it’s a good idea to take into account the destinations that will be most enjoyable for you. For many travellers, knowing that you have easily accessible and high quality healthcare is a pre-requisite for planning your holiday, and this is even more important for travellers with pre-existing health conditions.
Asia boasts a number of destinations whose healthcare systems are ranked extremely highly by WHO (World Health Organisation). These countries include Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and Japan. However, it is extremely important to note that for all countries in Asia you must ensure that you take out adequate travel insurance before to go. Medical care is often expensive and there are no special arrangements for British visitors, unlike Europe.
For a detailed profile of the countries in Asia look at the British Foreign Office Travel Health website: http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country-information/
When travelling with a medical condition it is important that you understand the limitations of your condition, in regards to what could trigger certain symptoms or reactions. This should be discussed with your doctor or nurse who will be able to provide you with personal advice on your individual condition.
If you are planning on visiting an area with high altitudes for people with Diabetes, Asthma, Epilepsy, Heart conditions, Lung conditions and Sickle cell disease this is a factor to be taken into account as altitude can have a significant effect on these conditions. If you feel that this could affect you, or you suffer from one of these conditions and are planning travelling in these areas, speak to your doctor well in advance of planning or preparing for your trip.
Similarly travelling to isolated areas should be avoided or carefully considered before booking. Speak to the tour company you are planning on going with and let them know about your condition. Understand how far it is to the nearest hospital, should you need to go, and what their safety procedure is should something happen.
Wherever you are planning on going travelling within Asia, our single trip or annual ERV Medi-Care Worldwide policy will provide you with support and service should you require it. ERV has one of the most comprehensive assistance networks and our pre-approved medical facilities for all of our customers will help to put travellers’ minds at ease.
ERV Medi-Care can provide you with affordable, worldwide travel insurance which includes the USA. With ERV Medi-Care, we cover over 200 conditions automatically at no additional cost. You can find out more about those on our Automatically Approved Medical Conditions list. If your conditions aren’t automatically accepted, ERV Medi-Care offer a simple process to assess your needs either online or by talking them through with one of our customer service team over the phone.
If you’re planning a trip to Asia and are looking for travel insurance for those with a pre-existing medical, call us on 01403 788510 and we’ll be happy to discuss your requirements.
Very helpful, good communication kept me up to date on progress. Really good customer service which is just what you need when under pressure of illness. "
ERV Customer - April 2018