Abroad and Sick? Turn to Uncle Sam

In a pinch, the American Embassy can be a resource.


If you get sick or injured outside the country, travel insurers can help guide you to proper care. But what if you don't have that net? Before you leave, ask your local travel immunization provider if it can supply a list of doctors or medical centers in the region to which you'll be traveling. The International Society of Travel Medicine, a group of travel health professionals, maintains a listserv for members who can exchange information about facilities and providers overseas.

If you're already on the ground and in a bind, "call your friendly American Embassy," says Phyllis Kozarsky, a travelers' health expert at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Embassy personnel can generally give you the names of physicians or healthcare facilities used by the expat community in the country. State Department staff can assist you in transmitting funds from home for a medical evacuation.