Travel insurance a necessity

Always have travel insurance if you are leaving Canada.

Always have travel insurance if you are leaving Canada.

You often hear about people who travel to various countries around the globe and and get into trouble health wise in a foreign country.

When listening to these ‘out of health area’ stories it is generally mentioned how much it had cost for hospital, doctors — including specialists — drugs, and sometimes special flights back home.

Many of us in Canada are not aware of what it costs for one patient to go and see a doctor just for a prescription.

If you were from California spending some vacation time in Beautiful British Columbia and you had to see a doctor to get a prescription for some drugs to help a medical condition, your cost would be around 700 to 800 dollars.

That’s just for the visit to get the doctor write down a prescription in ineligible writing.

I had a scenario on Koh Chang Island in Thailand where I was involved in an accident on my rented motor bike.

As I was getting on the bike, another one struck me from behind, causing my bike to fall on top of me and break my big left toe.

There was a total of seven trips to the new four-bed emergency type hospital for toe treatment, there were two x-rays, and supplies for looking after the toe, along with a doctor and at least two nurses were attending in very quick time.

The staff, the nurses, doctors and everyone at this gleaming new building were absolutely wonderful, so polite and gracious.

They even appreciated my sometimes goofy sense of humour.

In all of my visits to this excellent medical facility on the tiny Island of Koh Chang in the Gulf of Thailand, the cost was about the same as going to the doctor in B.C., asking for a prescription.

I’m certainly not complaining about our health care system or the costs, but was trying to state that in some places the costs for doctor or hospital services can be less and still good.

Had I been in many other countries, eight visits to a doctor in a hospital along with treatment would cost around several thousand dollars by the time the bills were totalled.

That’s why when I travel anywhere outside of the country I will always get insurance and I suggest if you are journeying outside good old Canada you get some as well — another cost to be included in your warm weather vacation trip.

Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Advisor.