Dr Farzad Entikabi, founder and Medical Director for Doctor Care Anywhere, answers your cruise questions. Q. I’m going on a cruise to Southeast Asia. Do you have any advice to make sure I stay well while I’m away?
Dr Farzad Entikabi, MRCGP, MRCS, MSC is the founder and Medical Director for Doctor Care Anywhere, responsible for the clinical care provided by a group of top rated private GPs. He is also an NHS GP Partner and Trainer in North London and specialises in digital healthcare.
A. A cruise is an ideal way to relax and see the world for many people. However, when planning your cruise, there are certain preparations you will need to consider to stay healthy, to get the most out of your holiday and to have piece of mind:
Medical record: If you have health problems, it’s important to ask your GP to prepare a brief copy of your medical history, just in case, for a foreign doctor, to include your medical problems, current medications and dosages, and drug allergies.
Travel vaccines: For travel vaccines and malaria protection plan a visit to your GP travel clinic or a private travel clinic four to six weeks before your travel date. Remember not all travel vaccines and medications are covered by the NHS.
Travel essentials: Remember to take any regular medications that you use with you and some extra to cover any unexpected delays in travel plans. Cruise ships often have an onboard doctor, but they may not stock your particular medication.
Sun protection: Skin cancers are caused by damage from overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Protecting the skin from the sun can help prevent these cancers. Follow Cancer Research UK’s SunSmart advice (sunsmart.org.uk): Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm. Try to cover up with a T-shirt, hat and sunglasses. Use a factor 15 or higher sunscreen. Remember to take extra care with children in the sun.
Medical care on board: Your ship will usually have a medical facility staffed by a doctor and a nurse to provide emergency medical care, but is not intended to provide ongoing medical treatment. A fee may be charged for services.
Finally, remember if you have more specific travel health concerns or need medical advice during your travels, you can speak to a doctor at doctorcareanywhere.com.
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