Before you travel, do obtain all necessary medications and get a travel insurance plan with adequate coverage. The Travel Clinic at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) shares tips on how to best prepare for a trip.
Continued from previous page.
4 more questions to ask yourself before you travel.
5. Have I packed all the medications that I need for my pre-existing health condition (if any)?
If you have a pre-existing condition like diabetes or heart disease, ask your doctor for sufficient medications to pack for your trip.
Dr Limin Wijaya, Senior Consultant,
Department of Infectious Diseases,
Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the
SingHealth group, adds, “If possible, bring more than enough medications to buffer for any unexpected delays. Also bring an extra prescription for refills, as well as a written list of your medications, including both the trade name (such as Prandin) and actual name (like repaglinide) of each medication.”
If you need to pack syringes and needles, bring along a doctor’s letter.
6. Have I prepared a first aid kit?
Pack a suitable first aid kit before you set off. “A travel health kit should be tailored to your personal needs, type of travel, length of travel and destination,” explains Dr Wijaya.
Basics include essentials like anti-diarrhoea pills, plasters, antiseptic cream, sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
Travelling to a rural area which is far from a health care facility? Do pack bandages and splints too.
In addition, consulting early allows for contingency planning or a change in itinerary if required.
7. Have I unwittingly packed medications that are illegal in certain countries?
The list of illicit drugs can be broader than you think. “This includes opioids, such as codeine-based medications or some cough mixtures,” explains Dr Wijaya. “If the medications are part of a prescription, get a doctor’s letter as proof.”
All prescriptive drugs should also be kept in their original container, with the original labels detailing your name and the doctor’s name.
8. Have I bought travel insurance?
Even if you are well prepared and travel with caution, illness or injury can occur, no matter the length of the trip. That’s when travel insurance comes in handy.
“A good travel insurance company will be able to assist in case of an accident or sudden illness overseas,” explains Dr Wijaya. Should you need to return urgently to Singapore for treatment, a good insurance can help with the repatriation cost.
Make sure that the travel insurance policy provides medical assistance by phone, 24 hours, seven days a week.
The SGH Travel Clinic is run by specialists from the Department of Infectious Diseases. It is a designated Yellow Fever Centre. The team of doctors and nurses will offer comprehensive travel advice and country-specific recommendations prior to your trip.
See previous page for
4 travel health questions to ask before a trip.