Having a medical condition need not prevent you from travelling, in fact a spot of travelling may do you the world of good, but for your peace of mind and the peace of mind of your family and friends it makes sense to think through carefully the journey that you are about to undertake.
Look up where you can get medical care near to where you’re travelling
Don’t just assume that you’ll be able to sort it all out, if and when the need arises. Do your research in advance. If your condition suddenly deteriorates you need to be able to get help as quickly as possible, you don’t want to waste time trying to find the nearest suitable facilities, a process likely to be complicated by trying to communicate in a foreign language.
Make sure that you have a European Health Insurance Card
The EHIC is available for free from the NHS so don’t be fooled by unofficial sites which try and charge you. The EHIC gives you access to state provided health care in any European Economic Area Country and Switzerland, although once Brexit comes into effect, UK citizens will no longer have free access to European Health Care, unless some kind of special deal is struck. The card covers you for all necessary treatment until the date you had planned to return and the care is provided to you like it would be to a resident of the country. You need to be aware that some countries require patients to pay a percentage of the cost of their treatment. You are therefore strongly advised to find a good travel insurance deal from a provider that can specialise your cover for your medical needs. The EHIC is not valid on cruises or for ski resort mountain rescue nor will it cover the cost of flying you back to the UK.
Talk to your doctor before you travel
Before you book anything, talk to your doctor about your intentions. Be truthful about where you intend to go and what you intend to do and don’t ignore the advice you are given.
Bring ample medication and a doctor’s letter detailing your condition
Make sure that you have acquired ample medication well before you are due to set off on your travels. Your medication may contain ingredients which are illegal in some countries so check beforehand. You and your doctor may need to complete a Medical Information Form (MEDIF). This form is valid for only one trip and can only be used for the flights and dates shown on the ticket.
Arrange early boarding and special arrangements with the airline
All airlines are required by law to make special provision for passengers with disabilities or medical conditions, but it is up to you to notify them well in advance and establish exactly what special provision you may require.