Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hospital Emergencies

I received the following information from Lynn La Benz.  If you happen to need emergency care while traveling overseas, here is what she found:  

I know we all travel with our passports on the outset of our trip because we need them for customs and checking into our hotel.  However, many of us then pack them back into the suitcase during our stay.  In July, I decided to make a copy of the passport photo page (showing all passport information) for each of my family members, then I cut them down and stuck them into my handbag.  Of course I also packed the regular passports.

This turned out to be a good thing.  When my son needed stitches while we were vacationing in Croatia, at the emergency room and again at the hospital before his stitches, I was asked for both my and his passport.  Normally I wouldn't have had them on me (too heavy) but I did have the copies, which were accepted immediately.

What's more, I found that when you are injured overseas, there is a go-between to help you find your way to the hospital, translate services, and provide authorization for the payment of treatment.  It's called SOS International.  They are London-based and the staff there was friendly, efficient, and helpful.  Although we had to pay about 35 USD for the ER triage, the surgery/stitches were covered by the fax that SOS International sent to the hospital authorizing payment for treatment.

Travel Tips:
1)  Carry either your passport or copies of your passport at all times.
2)  Check the SOS International website to find the plan and health benefits that apply to you.
3)  Keep the relevant numbers in your cell phone and write the information on the back of your passport copies.

For military members, here is the TRICARE Operations information:
(Make sure to click on the link to see more.)

International SOS
London Sixth Floor
Landmark House Hammersmith Bridge Road
London W6 9DP
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8762 8133
Fax:  +44 (0) 20 8762 8125

Thank you, Lynn!!!


Anonymous said...

Great information! I never knew.

Anonymous said...

Genial post and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you on your information.