Do You Need a Travel Consultation?
A travel medicine consultation is your opportunity to ensure you’ve prepared yourself for safe and healthy travel. Every traveller is unique. Your health and vaccine history, and your travel itinerary and plans for your trip are not like anyone else’s.
During your consultation, we will carefully consider your destination, itinerary, fitness level, allergies, age, health history, and travel experience. We will carry out an individualized risk assessment based on your health history and itinerary and develop a risk management plan for you.
Your risk management plan will recommend the best approaches and interventions to support your health and safety while you travel. These recommendations may include:
- Prescriptions for medications that can prevent or treat travel-related illnesses.
- Strategies to avoid diseases caused by insects or contaminated food or water.
- Changes to your planned travel to avoid epidemics, emerging diseases, or other health and safety risks.
The immunizations we recommended for you will depend on a number of factors including your destination, your plans to spend time in rural areas, the time year you are traveling, your age, your health status, and your previous immunizations.
Why Some People Don’t Take Advantage of a Travel Medicine Consultation
Their health plan doesn’t cover the costs.
Although it’s true that pre-travel medical care is not covered under BC’s provincial health plan, getting a travel consultation might end up being one of the smartest decisions you make. Why take unnecessary chances on ruining your trip with a bout of traveller’s diarrhea, or a more serious illness like Malaria or Typhoid? The money you saved by not visiting a travel clinic won’t be much of a compensation if you’re stuck in your hotel bathroom or a hospital bed in a foreign country. Not getting the right medical care before you travel could turn out to be a costly mistake.
They believe nothing will happen to them.
Are you the happy-go-lucky type who enjoys life as it comes? Your life philosophy may work well for you here in Canada, but maybe not so much when you go abroad. The social safety nets we depend on here are often hard to find in developing countries.
Has a travel agent or embassy advised you that immunizations are not required for travel to your destination? This means you won’t have to present a certificate of vaccination when you show up at the border. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be concerned about your health and safety when you travel.
Although all travel involves taking risks, most of these risks are manageable. And there are some risks you should definitely be aware of before you leave home. Are you confident that you have a realistic understanding of what they are? If you don’t, you may find yourself making life-changing decisions without completely understanding the consequences.
When you travel without being vaccinated you risk exposing yourself to pathogens that cause disease. You might get ill. And you might also carry the disease back home and expose other people.
In some countries, health and safety standards can be lax or non-existent. You should be aware of the risk associated with the activities you choose. You deserve to enjoy yourself, and you deserve to come home with happy memories and entertaining stories to share.
They’ll just get the shots the internet says they need.
Getting travel health information online can be helpful, but it can also be a little like shopping for a specialty item at a big box store. You probably won’t find what you are looking for, though you might find a one-size-fits-all solution—a solution that might not be right for you.
There are plenty of websites that will list the vaccines that are required and recommended for a particular destination. But travel medicine involves much more than getting vaccinated.
For example, a hiker in the German countryside will need to take insect precautions, and perhaps get a vaccination, that a tourist enjoying the urban delights of Berlin will never have to consider.
If you show up at your local pharmacy or medical clinic with a list of vaccines you read about on the internet, you may not get the same treatment you would from a specialized travel medicine clinic.
Many general practitioners and pharmacists don’t have the time or the expertise to provide a specialized travel risk assessment. They may not have the specific knowledge or interest to provide advice and recommendations to travellers about the challenges and risks associated with a multitude of destinations and a variety of travel styles.
If you don’t consult an expert, you run the risk of not getting the vaccines, medications, and information you need. You also might end up getting a vaccine you don’t need, or perhaps the wrong anti-Malarial medication. Why take the chance when you can consult with travel medicine experts like TMVC?