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Information for Organisers
We understand that as a group leader you need to assist participants answer the question “what shots do I need for this trip?”. The last thing you want is different members of the group receiving conflicting advice from different sources. Furthermore, depending on your relationship to the group, there may also be occupational health and safety obligations which need to be considered.
At Dr Deb’s The Travel Doctor, we can help YOU ensure that your participants receive up to date, consistent advice on pre travel health care in order to ensure a healthy journey. This will allow you to feel more confident about your group’s preparation.
Contact the clinic and ask about the group service. Our Staff will ask you about the group and where you are going, and give you an overview and a group voucher. We do however need to consult each person to make definite individual recommendations based on their own confidential medical history.
YOU, as a group leader, are responsible for providing information and guidance on what might be necessary and how to get this done. Provision of this information should be well documented. Ultimately however the health of your participants is THEIR responsibility. It is up to them whether they chose to act on that information.
At Dr Deb’s The Travel Doctor, we can give you a general outline of recommendations for a particular itinerary. The exact recommendations may vary from individual to individual, e.g. a persons confidential medical history may necessitate a change to the recommendations, sometimes this may be a substantial change.
There is an important distinction between COMPULSORY vaccinations which are necessary on entry into a country, and those which are RECOMMENDED for a persons own health and safety.
The advantages of recommending that all your participants go to the one place and consult one of our Travel Doctors are:
- You will feel secure in the knowledge that you have discharged your duty of care and fulfilled your obligations in the health area
- We guarantee your participants will get the most up to date information on travel health so they get consistent advice and exactly what they need
- Our medical staff are highly trained in medical geography, international public health, tropical and travel medicine and their skill at giving injections is unsurpassed, so the whole experience is as painless as possible.
- All participants receive a copy of the book, Travelling Well, containing practical tips on how to safeguard their health while travelling so they have something they can refer to after the consultation.
- Consultations are scheduled to allow plenty of time to answer their questions
- All necessary vaccines and medical supplies are available at the clinic – saving time going off to get scripts filled
- Individual medical kits are provided as required
- You have the security of knowing that your participants will be doing everything possible to ensure a healthy and happy travel experience.
Give your members the group voucher and the information flyer and recommend they make an appointment to see one of the travel doctors 4-6 weeks before departure. Even if travelling at short notice – its never to late to plan for a healthy trip
What if the Participants cannot attend one of our clinics?
We have a formal phone consultation service for participants who are not able to come to one of our centres. This is a great opportunity for them to access individualised advice, and have their concerns fully answered. These consultations include a copy of the book, Travelling Well. An individualised vaccination schedule is sent to the local GP along with shipping the vaccinations and medical kit if required. (Remote area service form)
What if some Participants are in other states or overseas?
Click here to access some information on the Travel Medicine Alliance – which has travel medicine clinics across Australia.
Group leaders need first aid training
First Aid training is essential for group leaders. This can be organised through such groups as St Johns Ambulance and Surf Life Saving clubs. We use this group for our annual CPR training.
Group leaders need to know if anyone has medical problems
A medical clearance form will provide some basic information about the participants so if a participant should get sick or injured, essential information is readily available.
Should we provide a group medical kit?
The legality of non medical persons administering prescription drugs to members of their group while travelling is somewhat ambiguous. Just because you give a drug in good faith in a remote area, you are not necessarily immune from litigation if something goes wrong.
Although it is a great asset to say that a comprehensive medical kit will be carried by the group leader, there are some points to consider.
A medical kit can never be truly comprehensive. The range of possible problems is almost infinite, and it would be possible for a participant to complain that the kit did not meet the definition of comprehensive. A Travellers Medical Kit must be designed to cover the likely problems, hence different trips by different groups may have very different requirements. Your Travel Doctor will advise you on what will best suit the needs of your participants
In situations where the group leader is not medically trained, it is safer from a medico-legal standpoint if participants take responsibility for themselves and carry their own simple medical kit. This is especially important when travelling in areas where medical care is dubious.
Provision of a suitable medical kit enables members of the group to deal with common medical problems quickly and prevent things getting worse. You may care to add the following statement to your trip information:
“Basic Medical Supplies for emergency treatment of common problems will be carried on this trip. Whilst every effort is made to ensure an appropriate medical kit is available, it is not possible for a medical kit to cover every eventuality and all pre-existing medical problems. We encourage participants to seek medical advice from Dr Deb’s The Travel Doctor regarding individual medical supplies that may be necessary for their particular situation.”
When a group kit is taken, it is usually important for the group leader to make it clear at the time of administration to the members of the group, that the medications are provided as a service. The members need to make a careful study of the relevant instructions and take them at their own risk.
Medical kit advice will be discussed during the consultation, however as a rough guide, we encourage leaders taking groups to at least look at taking:
- Expedition Kit: Covering treatment for diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach complaints, chest problems, wounds, pain, fungal infections, ear and eye infections
- Dental Kit: For dental pain, and replacement of lost fillings
- Trauma Kit: Needles, syringes, suture material, intravenous access set
- Malaria Test Kit: and malaria treatment pills (if relevant)
Does everyone in the group have travel insurance?
We highly recommend travel insurance as an essential part of healthy travel. Illness or injury of one member of the group can be disruptive to everyone’s trip.
The foreign affairs department tells us that approximately 30% of Australian travellers do not take out insurance.
The question of travel insurance is usually solved by including the cost of ‘non optional’ travel insurance in the package. This is usually organised through your travel agent.
Insurance companies do not just pay the bills. Impressive Call Centres staffed by Doctors, interpreters and logistics experts will organise rescues from remote areas.
When choosing an insurance company it may be useful to ring the ’emergency hotline’ to familiarise yourself with the staff of the call centre and the type of services they provide. Many group leaders will pick one insurance company and include that policy with their trip to minimise the tendency to have potentially multiple different assistance organisations to coordinate in an emergency.
On arrival at the destination, it may be helpful to ensure you have a plan for accessing this assistance at all times.
What about Group Vaccination Clinics?
We can undertake group vaccination clinics. However, it is often quite hard to get a whole group together. We find the best way to provide comprehensive medical care to participants is through individual consultations.