Travelling with a health condition

Latest update: - Authors: Mieke Croughs, Ula Maniewski-Kelner

Travellers with a chronic illness have a greater risk of experiencing medical problems whilst travelling.

In some cases, travel to remove areas without specialised hospitals, is not recommended. 

Prevention

Medical assistance at your destination

Check whether good medical assistance is available at your travel destination.

Consult your doctor

Discuss your travel plans well in advance of departure (at least six to eight weeks) with your treating doctor and/or a doctor in a specialised travel clinic. Extra precautions or vaccinations are sometimes recommendedor a modification of your medication. 

Medical record and medication list

Take a brief medical record (English or French) and a medication list with the generic product names with you.

Immune disorders

Persons with immune disorders are more susceptible to infections.

Heart and lung patients

People with heart and lung conditions are more sensitive to air pollution, temperature fluctuations and low oxygen pressure at high altitude.

Diabetes

In the case of diabetes, treatment may have to be adapted depending on the planned activities and if there is a time difference of more than three hours. When travelling by air, take a doctor's note if you use a sugar sensor or insulin pump, or if you need to take needles with you. Also ask your doctor before departure what to do in case of problems with the sensor or insulin pump.

Travelling with medication

Ensure that your travel pharmacy is in order and that you have the required documents. 

Travel assistance insurance

Ensure that you have good cover for travel assistance insurance. Ensure that any problems resulting from your illness are not excluded by the insurance and ask whether evacuation in the event of an emergency is included.

In case of symptoms

Seek medical advice if you suffer any symptoms.

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