A weekly column by Dr Miles Langdon of South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, addressing topical health issues
As autumn approaches, have you made any travel plans for a final bit of summer sun?
Sunny España has been ranked amongst the top European holiday destinations for UK travellers. But before you put on your sombrero and sip a well-earned sangria, have you considered the all important travel insurance?
Take out travel insurance before you visit another country to protect and cover all members of your family or holiday group.
In addition, you can apply for an EHIC card which lets you get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. Find out more at NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/Pages/about-the-ehic.aspx
If you do require medical attention and think you will need to make a claim, try to keep all documents and receipts as they may be required by your insurance company.
If you’re planning a visit to Spain, here’s a list of useful contacts I hope you won’t need during your trip!
112 or 061 – ambulance (ambulancia)
091 – national police (policía nacional)
092 – local police (policía municipal)
062 – civil guard (guardia civil)
080 – fire brigade (bomberos)
900 202 202 – sea rescue (salvamento y seguridad marítima)
You can find emergency service details for other holiday destinations here: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/countryguide/Pages/EEAcountries.aspx
Finally, if you have a condition that requires you to bring your own medicines to a foreign country, you should have a letter from you GP stating what the medicines are and why you need them.
Holidaymakers travelling abroad need to be aware of the health issues associated with contaminated food and drink.
Travellers’ diarrhoea is the most common illness contracted abroad, affecting 20-60 per cent of overseas travellers. It’s important to check whether tap water is suitable to drink or brush your teeth and where you can buy bottled water. Find out more at http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/general-travel-health-advice/water-purification.aspx#boiling
Similarly, foods that may have been rinsed in contaminated water such as salads should also be avoided.
As a rule, only eat freshly prepared food that is thoroughly cooked and served very hot!
For more help and advice on food and drink whilst abroad, visit http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/travelhealth/Pages/Food-and-water-abroad.aspx