What to Do if You Get Sick or Injured Abroad

No one wants to plan for an illness or injury while travelling; however, it is important to be prepared if the situation arises. No matter how serious or simple the ailment, there are a few things to remember when going on a trip or vacation. 

Important Traveller Information

Should you experience a medical emergency while travelling, it is recommended that you contact your travel insurance provider immediately. If you have a valid ScotiaLife Travel Insurance Plan, ensure you contact the Emergency Assistance Centre. An agent will verify and explain your coverage prior to your treatment, and refer you to reputable physicians, hospitals, or other healthcare providers. Please refer to your ScotiaLife Travel Insurance Policy for further information.

In addition to your insurance provider's emergency contact information, be sure to travel with readily accessible documentation regarding:

  • Any medical conditions or history
  • Prior surgeries or treatments
  • Current medications
  • Allergies
  • Your health coverage
  • Emergency contacts
  • Whether or not you wear contact lenses

This information should be kept on a card in your wallet, on a medic alert, or some other visible and accessible format. Your travel companions should quickly know the location of this information in case of emergency. This information should also be listed in the local language.

One point of contact, besides your personal contacts, should be the Government of Canada's overseas offices. During a medical emergency, travellers can consult their local Canadian government office to request that they:

  • Provide a list of nearby medical facilities and/or professionals
  • Contact your family or designated power of attorney (if the patient is incapacitated)
  • Assist in connecting you with your insurance provider
  • With permission, contact your family doctor in Canada to discuss your care with your local attending physician
  • Safely transfer or evacuate you to a better facility/back to Canada
During Treatment

If you must be treated in an unfamiliar country, ensure you contact your travel insurance provider for advice. This is important as some countries do not utilize the same medical standards as Canada, and the quality of your treatment may be compromised.

No matter what happens abroad, it is crucial to seek follow-up advice and/or treatment upon your return to Canada.