So one of the most important things to look after while you're travelling is going to be your health, a lot of people don't think about it as it doesn’t really seem like an important thing but trust me, it is. You don't want to be getting ill before a big trip or come down with the flu before a Skydive and if you do, your going want to be able to go to a doctor, get your prescription and get it sorted as soon as possible so you can get back out into the sun and enjoying your travels, rather than being stuck inside tucked up in bed and feeling sorry for yourself. If you do get ill, it's different to being ill at home. It's inevitable your going to get ill at some point during your travels but there’s a few things you can do to make better of the situation. You're most likely going to be sharing a room with people in a hostel, if you do get ill it can get very annoying especially with people turning the lights on and making noise when all you want to do is sleep, I know it doesn’t sound very pleasant. So make sure you have loads of water, headphones or earplugs and something to cover your eyes like an eye mask, this will help you get some sleep and recover much more quickly. Also make sure you've got whatever you need from the doctors and it's probably best to just stick it out and stay in bed until you're feeling better as you don't want to make it worse and ruin even more of your trip.
How to best avoid getting sick while travelling:
⦁ Wash your hands, I know it sounds basic but you would be really surprised the people who forget to do this and its such an easy way to catch germs and get ill.
⦁ Try and stay active, keep exercising, there are obviously a range of benefits to regularly exercising, like it's going to build up your immune system and make you less susceptible to illnesses.
⦁ One VERY important thing, that a lot of people don't seem to find important, but wearing sun cream. This is incredibly important in Australia especially up north as the UV levels are extremely high and skin cancer is a serious problem, so make sure you keep re applying sun cream, wear a hat and cover yourself up if you find the sun too much.
⦁ Make sure you get your vaccinations before you leave, which I will speak more about later on in the book.
⦁ Protect yourself from Mosquito bites. So use a mosquito net if your in the outback or camping. It's also a good idea to take mosquito repellent spray, good air conditioned rooms are great as mosquitoes are attracted to hot temperatures.
⦁ Finally simple things that just help keep your immune system strong, make sure you get sleep even though your going to be busy partying and doing stuff in the day getting enough sleep is also important. Drink a lot of water and stay hydrated especially when in the sun it can be easy to forget.
You don’t really need any immunisations if your going to Australia, you just need to make sure all your primary courses and boosters are up to date. Other vaccines you might also want to consider are Japanese Encephalitis and tetanus. Japanese Encephalitis is carried in mosquitoes and risk is higher for long stay travellers in rural areas and tetanus is found in spores in soil worldwide and gets into cuts, burns and other wounds. I would just recommend going into or phoning your GP and booking an appointment with the nurse, tell her/him your going to Australia for a gap year and wherever else you're planning on going and she will give you all the necessary Jabs and make sure you're all up to date before leaving. I would also get a printed out/copy of your vaccinations to take with you just in case you need it.
The Australian Government has signed Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Slovenia, Malta and Italy. These agreements entitle you to some subsidised health services for essential medical treatment while visiting Australia which is great and basically means you get some health care for free.
If you are a resident of New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Finland or Norway, you are covered for the length of your stay in Australia. If you are a visitor from Belgium, the Netherlands or Slovenia, you need your European Health Insurance card to enroll in Medicare. You are eligible until the expiry date shown on the card, or for the length of your authorised stay in Australia, if that is an earlier date. If you are visiting from Malta or Italy, and you are a resident and citizen of those countries, you’ll be covered by Medicare for a period of six months from the date of your arrival in Australia.
How it works:
You can get medical treatment in private doctors' practices and community health centers. Doctors in these practices charge for their services in one of the following ways.
1. The doctor bills Medicare directly.
You’ll be asked to show your reciprocal health care card and sign a completed Medicare bulk bill form after seeing the doctor but you won’t need to pay. Please note not all doctors bulk bill.
2. The doctor gives you a bill.
Doctors who don’t bulk bill will ask you to pay a fee at the time of consultation. You can either pay the full bill, or lodge the unpaid bill with Medicare and claim it back afterwards.
Also if you get treated in hospital you wont be charged for any treatment or accommodation you simply just show your passport or your Medicare card.
Medical services not covered by Medicare:
⦁ Medicine not subsidised under the PBS.
⦁ Treatment arranged before your visit to Australia.
⦁ Accommodation and medical treatment in a private hospital.
⦁ Accommodation and medical treatment as a private patient in a public hospital.
⦁ Ambulance services.
⦁ Dental examinations and treatment (except specified items introduced for allied health services as part of the Chronic Disease Management (CDM) program).
⦁ Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, eye therapy, chiropractic services, podiatry or psychology (except specified items introduced for allied health services as part of the CDM program.
⦁ Acupuncture (unless part of a doctor's consultation).
⦁ Glasses and contact lenses.
⦁ Hearing aids and other appliances.
⦁ The cost of prostheses.
⦁ Medical costs for which someone else is responsible (for example a compensation insurer, an employer, a government or government authority).
⦁ Medical services which are not clinically necessary.
⦁ Surgery solely for cosmetic reasons.
⦁ Examinations for life insurance, superannuation or membership of a friendly society.
⦁ Eye therapy.
⦁ Home nursing.