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Common Medical Emergencies On Holiday | What You’ll Need Covered

The 4 Common Medical Emergencies You May Face While On Holiday

Reading time: 4 mins

The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly forced us to take a closer look into travel insurance plans and its coverage – especially what medical benefits it offers. Getting sick during holiday is not something we anticipate but it pays to be prepared even before you travel.

Important things to think about when choosing travel insurance is whether it covers trip cancellation and disruptions, loss of personal belongings and of course medical expenses abroad. A good comprehensive travel insurance should include health and medical coverage. You should be aware of what big medical expenses are included, so you know you’re covered if you were to fall ill or suffer an injury when on holiday. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the common medical emergencies you may face when travelling.

What Are the Common Medical Emergencies You May Face When Travelling?

1. Infectious Viruses and Airborne Diseases

When you travel, you’re sure to be exposed to a number of infectious diseases. Some may be more prevalent, like the common cough and cold, influenza or pneumonia. While others may be dependent on the place you travel to, like in the case of malaria and tuberculosis. Not forgetting the widespread Covid-19 virus that has a global presence.

Your risk of infection may vary according to your travel plans; this includes the places you visit, the activities you take part in, the standards of accommodation, the food you eat, as well as hygiene and sanitation. In some instances, disease can be prevented by vaccination, but this is not a guarantee that you won’t contract it and fall severely ill.

You should always take the right precautions to avoid contracting viruses and airborne diseases while on holiday, and ensure that your travel insurance covers you, should you need to seek medical treatment. DirectAsia now offers additional coverage for Covid-19 if you opt for the Single Trip policy with COVID-19 Travel optional benefit.

2. Breathing Difficulty

There can be a number of reasons why you may have difficulties in breathing as you travel. For example, it could be due to an allergic reaction to something you ate, insect stings or new medication that you’ve ingested. This could lead to other allergy symptoms like rashes, swelling and nausea, which could become even more critical. If you’re planning on going hiking, altitude sickness could also cause shortness of breath. 

Most travel insurance includes hospitalisation as part of its medical coverage and it’s something you should definitely check on. Being hospitalised abroad can be very costly, so it’s best to avoid being caught off-guard should you face such a medical emergency. 

3. Cuts and Wounds

Getting a few cuts and wounds while on holiday is no biggie. Oftentimes, it can be treated with basic first aid items like a band-aid, or gauze and antiseptic ointment.

However, sometimes the cut could be deep, requiring stitches, or you could experience internal bleeding when wounded. Seek emergency treatment if the bleeding doesn’t stop, if there is a foreign object stuck in the wound, or if you can see tissue or bone. 

4. Falls and Fractures

Besides the  medical emergencies mentioned above, more critical accidents like falls and fractures can happen while you’re on holiday that might require a visit to the emergency unit. In fact, in most severe cases, you may suffer broken bones as a result from a fall. In this case, you may need to be airlifted to the hospital. 

Be sure that your travel insurance offers emergency evacuation coverage and will pay for your medical repatriation. Having this covered in your travel insurance coverage will take away the added financial stress in a situation such as this.

What Medical Coverage Does Comprehensive Travel Insurance Cover?

Firstly, it’s important to understand that when you leave Singapore, your life and health insurance does not travel with you. So, you should not skimp on travel insurance and just go with the one that has the lowest premium. A comprehensive travel insurance plan is usually the best choice, as it ensures that you are covered for all unforeseen travel mishaps and medical emergencies during the length of your trip. 

However, at DirectAsia, we understand that not all travellers need the same amount of coverage, so we offer 4 different plan limits; DA150, DA200, DA500, and DA1000 to meet your specific needs. And, regardless of the plan limit you choose, you’ll still get the same travel cover protection.

Of course, your medical coverage may differ depending on your travel insurance provider.  But, DirectAsia’s comprehensive travel insurance plan has got you covered for all these common medical emergencies, which includes:

  • Emergency medical expenses - covers consultation expenses, as well as the cost of medication in Singapore and overseas.
  • Hospitalization - covers all the associated expenses, if your health deteriorates to the point you need to be hospitalized,  including ambulance charges.
  • Emergency evacuations - it can be anything from an ambulance ride, an airlift from a remote location, or medical transport back home after a serious injury.
  • Compassionate visits -  this includes travel and accommodation expenses for a family member to join you, if you're travelling alone. But, bear in mind that this only applies if you’re expected to be admitted in hospital for more than 5 consecutive days. 
  • Compensation - your family will receive payment if you have a fatal accident or become permanently disabled from an accident during your trip. 

If your vacation plan involves Extreme Sports and Activities, then you should check if this is included in your comprehensive travel insurance plan. DirectAsia offers this under Optional Benefits to cover you for various injuries sustained during high risk recreational activities such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and rock climbing, to name a few.

Prioritize Your Health and Pay Attention to the Medical Coverage of Your Travel Insurance Policy

Now that you know what medical expenses are included under comprehensive travel insurance, you should also be aware that pre-existing medical conditions are not covered under your policy. Go through your travel insurance policy document carefully to ensure what is covered and what is not. 

Besides that, it’s also essential to know what to do in the event of a medical emergency while you’re travelling. Firstly, seek out medical assistance or get yourself to a hospital if you’re feeling very ill or terribly injured. Then inform the hospital administration and your insurance provider through their dedicated helpline. 

If you are overseas, you can call +65 6603 3699, and for local assistance (within Singapore) call +65 6665 5555 to reach DirectAsia’s representatives.