Travel Insurance – To the Rescue Once Again

While traveling through Southeast Asia or any underdeveloped area, you would expect to encounter the odd illness from either eating food from the wrong location or that was washed with local water. The majority of them pass within 24 hours and without too much of an impact on your entire journey.

However, once in a while something is ingested, inhaled or has feasted on you that causes you to become very intense acquaintances with the washroom (or whatever they are calling a “washroom”). At this particular time in your trip you are wondering what the nest best choice is. Should you wait it out and hope it passes, while you risk serious dehydration and possibly various diseases? Or should you hop on the next tuk tuk and attempt explaining to them, while trying to hold it together, that the nearest, cleanest and possibly the most fluently English speaking hospital is where you’re headed?

We chose the international hospital in Cambodia when this happened to my friend while traveling in Asia. The fact that “International” was preceding “hospital” made us feel a bit more secure.

My friend had been seriously ill for over 2 days when we decided to bite the bullet and go to the hospital. We had been putting it off because we had a good idea of the challenges going to a hospital in a third world country would bring. But then I discovered that he had all of the symptoms that malaria brings and that after 24 hours without treatment Malaria can become a very serious illness.

To be completely honest, the hospital was not that bad. They did, however, have a serious mosquito problem, which is, in fact, what causes Malaria in the first place. They tool my friend in immediately and treated him with rehydration methods and gave him some blood work. They also offered him a medicine that would finally make him stop vomiting (and otherwise). All the while, I was standing there with an electric mosquito zapper, to fend the mosquitoes off my potentially Malaria-ridden friend.

The doctors eventually sorted him out and sent us to the front desk for the paper work. This is when we received a bill for $800.00 US. We had purchased travel insurance and were quite possibly the most thankful people on the earth in that moment. We had the type of policy that reimburses you when you return home. Most of these policies, however, will foot the bill upfront is the bill is quite high and you aren’t able to pay it. Phew! Another classic traveler’s experience, survived.