Staying Healthy on the Road: 2009
Staying or getting healthy on the road is a key to a happy European trip. Any tips on health and finding good/affordable medical care in Europe?
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Health care overseas
To the 9/12/09 poster: No government health plan covers its citizens out-of-country unless it has a reciprocal agreement with the other country to treat each other's citizens. Most of the EU countries have this. However, some countries (Britain, for one) provide emergency care to anyone who needs it at no charge. Thus, if you suffered a heart attack in London, the NHS would stabilize you but expect you to "go private" or go home for rehabilitation and follow-up. On the whole, though, anyone traveling outside their own country should anticipate having to pay upfront for services in a foreign country and getting reimbursement afterwards, as I did when I needed medical services in Japan.
Minneapolis, MN USA Sat 11/14/2009
There's been a lot of research lately about the importance of Vitamin D in maintaining health, including beefing up the immune system. The old-fashioned insistence on dosing children with cod liver oil turns out to have some scientific basis. Since the body creates its own Vitamin D through exposure to natural sunlight, a lot of people in the northern U.S. and Canada and in Europe are deficient in it. I started taking an over-the-counter supplement over a year ago, and I haven't had a full-fledged cold or any flu since then, even when everyone around me was getting sick.
Karen E Sandness
Minneapolis, MN USA Sat 11/14/2009
24 hours after my arrival in Düsseldorf, Germany, I ended up with a severe nosebleed out of my sinus that couldn't be stopped by conventional means. While I can't recommend the experience of being hospitalized in the first place, they were very good to me for the four days I was at the Evangelisches Krankenhaus (which, fortunately, had an ear-nose-throat department; had I already gone on to the smaller town on my itinerary, I would have been in a tough spot). I had to pay up front - about 1350 Euros, which is still in the claims process with my health insurance. I do not know what would have happened if I were unable or refused to pay.
As a result, let me recommend that you all a) have international coverage for your trip, and b) carry some kind of nasal spray or moisturizer, particularly if you're at all prone to nosebleeds!
Wilmington, NC USA Sat 11/07/2009
Just in case you're into safety, I was unable to find personal flotation devices--life jackets--on the boats in either Venice or Lake Como. Possibly a few under the front inside seats in the water buses in Venice, but not enough room there for one per person. There are some hang-on-to-the rope floating disks on the water buses in Venice, but you would have to be in good shape for those!
Chicago, IL USA Mon 11/02/2009
Of course, medicare won't pay outside the US. Just because you paid for it.... And some want the government to extend its control! By the way, if you want private insurance to cover foreign travel it is readily available.
USA Sat 09/12/2009
At the end of a wonderful visit with family in Italy my borther became gravely ill. He was misdiagnosed at the emergency room and his condition worsened. He was hospitalized in LaSpezia and has now been in ICU Genoa for a month with a ruptured esophagus..medicare, of course doesn't pay...secondary will not pay...and traveller's insurance is inadequate. Share similar expriences..especially dealing wiht insurance companies.
Kinderhook, USA Sat 08/01/2009
Take your vitamins
Take extra vitamins, esp vitamin C. Even if it's fun, travel is stressful.
Portland, OR USA Sat 07/25/2009
Great experience in France
RE: the emergency room cost in Rome, I have a somewhat similar experience to share. While in Paris this past winter I fell down a flight of wet stairs (bruised tailbone but nothing broken) a doctor came to our hotel room right away and it turned out I had a very high fever. Within minutes I had all the medicine I needed to recover and he put me at ease. The cost of the emergency visit + plus was very very very low
USA Thu 07/09/2009
Eat and Drink
Two tips; eat regularly and drink plenty of water.
1. Eat Regularly - Many times when people travel they tend to skip meals or not eat enough or just eat snacks out of fear of the local food offerings. This is especially true in more exotic places with unfamiliar foods. However, not eating can have just the reverse effect. For one, you're throwing your system off and two, you're not giving your body the energy it needs for the physical demands of travel. Remember what your mother says, "...Eat something!"
2. Drink plenty of water - Dehydration is dangerous as well as deadly. By the time you realize you're really thirsty, it's already too late. Instead of gulping large volumes of water at one time, carry a water bottle and sip water regularly throughout the day. Being dehydrated can lead to all sorts of undesirable effects.
San Leandro, CA USA Wed 06/10/2009
STAY AWAY FROM TO MUCH GELATO!!!
Boise , Idaho USA Wed 06/03/2009
Rome Emergency Room Cost
While traveling in Rome my knee gave out while entering the Metro at the Coliseum. I was helped to the curb by a restaurant manager at the entrance. Using Rick's Italy book I asked the taxi driver to take me to the hospital recommended. It was rush hour and the driver did so a bit reluctantly as there was a hospital closer to the Coliseum. I was in and out of the emergency room in 45 minutes - processed in, seen by two doctors, leg wrapped, prescription and note to my doctor in hand. Cost $ZERO.
Everett, WA USA Thu 04/02/2009
FYI I heard from a travel Dr. when doing "adventure" dining eat light you body often can fight off a bit but not a lot of unusual food . This may apply more for that boat trip to Tunnis then dinner in Munich.
Wa USA Sun 02/08/2009