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How to be prepared for accidents and emergencies this holiday season

Many people had to put their travel plans on hold this year given the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown precautions.

However, with the country easing restrictions and the tourism industry opening back up, many of us are looking forward to a well-deserved local break over the festive season. Just be mindful of the fact that the end of the year is a notorious time for accidents and emergencies and, considering that you’re away from home, you should be aware of the most common dangers. Bloom Financial Services, in conjunction with Momentum Health4Me, sheds some light on how to be prepared should you experience an accident or emergency situation.

What qualifies as an accident?

An accident relates to an external and unforeseeable event that directly or indirectly affects a person’s mental or physical health, like a fall, burn or motor accident. 

The most common holiday accidents revealed

These are some of the most common accidents experienced by holidaymakers.

1. Road accidents

The Minister of Transport reported a staggering 1286 road accidents over the December 2019 period alone, and the country is estimated to have about one million reported automotive accidents annually.

Keep safe when you’re driving by making sure your car is roadworthy before you embark on your trip. Likewise, stay alert and make regular stops if you’re feeling fatigued. Should you, or a member of your family who is on your health insurance plan, be involved in a car accident and sustain a serious injury, stay at the scene and call for emergency ambulance transport through Netcare 911 on 082 911.

2. Slips and falls

Many people enjoy participating in some rigorous sporting activity while they’re on holiday, like a game of golf or tennis, or trek up a beautiful hiking trail, after all those months of routine office work and daily work commutes. However, a broken bone or a sprained ankle can put a serious damper on your holiday cheer so we recommend keeping safe by being careful and knowing your limits when it comes to physical activity. Don’t overexert yourself unnecessarily, especially if your fitness level doesn’t match the activity, and remember to relax and take it easy.

3. Food poisoning

Eating out or enjoying a home cooked braai is all part of the holiday mood but sometimes you may inadvertently expose yourself to contaminated food, which is especially risky during our hot summer months. Food poisoning leads to diarrhoea, vomiting and severe dehydration. We recommend eating or buying food from a reputable source and washing your hands frequently to avoid contamination. Should you be experiencing symptoms of food poisoning, you should visit a local pharmacy to seek a replacement supplement for the lost salts and glucose in your body. If your symptoms persist or grow worse, seek medical attention at a local clinic or GP.

Important information to have in case of an emergency

You may find yourself in a situation where you need to provide essential information to a paramedic or medical practitioner in order for them to provide appropriate medical treatment. If you suffer from a chronic disease, like diabetes or high blood pressure, we strongly recommend getting a medical alert bracelet, which will give them insight into your specific condition or allergies.

You will also need to provide them with your health insurance membership number so that they can confirm your policy. Other important information you should provide, include:

  • Your full name
  • Date of birth
  • Current or chronic medical conditions
  • Allergies
  • Emergency contact details

Keep this information stored in a safe place, like on your phone or in a notebook that you keep in your car or with your travel documents. It also helps if more than one person has access to this information.

How to get prescribed chronic medication if you’re on holiday

Momentum Health4Me will facilitate delivery of chronic medication, provided it has been approved by the network. We recommend that you pack enough chronic medication to last you the duration of your trip, and that you take your chronic medication prescription with you. If you do happen to run out of chronic meds or if there is some sort of an extenuating circumstances, like your luggage was lost at the airport, we can still assist you. Get in touch by faxing or emailing your prescription through to a Medipost Pharmacy and let them know where they should deliver your mediation. You can fax through to 0866 82 33 17 and email to mhealth@medipost.co.za

What happens if I need to be hospitalised for an accident or emergency while on holiday?

We realise that an accident can happen at any time and that you may need immediate medical treatment. Should you require such treatment, you will need to call  0860 10 29 03 in order to obtain the necessary authorisation. Once you have an authorisation number, you will be admitted for treatment and the hospital will send the account to us for payment. The cover will pay up to the benefit option per event limit for casualty treatment, and up to the benefit option per event limit for in-hospital treatment, provided that the treatment is linked to an accident that fits the qualifying criteria. Please be aware that you will not be covered for any injuries that you sustain while you are under the influence of alcohol.

Should you suffer an emergency incident, you will also be admitted for treatment. An emergency, in contrast to an accident, relates specifically to a stroke or heart attack, that requires immediate medical or surgical treatment. Your emergency hospital cover will include transportation, stabilisation and treatment. If the benefit limit is exceeded and further medical treatment is required, or if the medical emergency does not relate to either a heart attack or stroke, you will be transported to a State facility for care.

Takeaway

Bloom hopes you have a wonderful holiday break over the festive season, but we also encourage you to be mindful of the danger of avoidable accidents. However, should you experience an unforeseeable medical emergency while you’re on holiday, you can rest assured that your Health4Me health insurance cover will provide you with the emergency medical treatment you need to need to ensure your safety and recovery. Make sure you’re covered for these unforeseeable medical events by contacting one of our trained consultants for a free quote on affordable health insurance. 

Should you suffer an emergency incident, you will also be admitted for treatment. An emergency, in contrast to an accident, relates specifically to a stroke or heart attack, that requires immediate medical or surgical treatment. Your emergency hospital cover will include transportation, stabilisation and treatment. If the benefit limit is exceeded and further medical treatment is required, or if the medical emergency does not relate to either a heart attack or stroke, you will be transported to a State facility for care.

Medical Content Disclaimer

You understand and acknowledge that all users of the Bloom Financial Services website are responsible for their own medical care, treatment, and oversight. All content provided on the website, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Neither is it intended to be a substitute for an independent professional medical opinion, judgement, diagnosis or treatment.