Best Healthcare Options in the French Islands for Travellers

THE islands in the French West Indies are some of the most well-developed and modernised countries in the Caribbean. Medical and health care facilities in Martinique for example, are considered some of the best in the eastern Caribbean.

Should travellers need any medical attention while vacationing in beautiful Martinique, they should know that they’re in good hands. There are around 20 hospitals and clinics located on the island, most of which have outstanding facilities and specialists in every branch of medicine. The ratio of doctors to the general population is about one doctor for every 637 of the island’s inhabitants. The largest hospital on the island is called Hospital Pierre Zobda Quikman, and is located about three miles from Fort de France. This facility has a 24-hour emergency room and can be reached by dialing telephone number 596-596-55-20-00 on the island.

There are several pharmacies located on the island including Pharmacy Cypria in Fort de France, which you can call at 596-63-22-25 from the island, and Pharmacie de la Paix, also in Fort de France at telephone number 596-71-94-83 on the island. Vacationers can get most of their prescription and over-the-counter medicines at these pharmacies.

Before setting off for a vacation in Martinique, travellers should check with their insurance companies to see if their policy covers travelling overseas. Also, don’t forget to bring insurance information such as your insurance I.D. card and claim forms. Many insurance companies don’t provide coverage for their clients while abroad, and if they do, most won’t cover the cost of emergency evacuation from the island. If your insurance coverage is not valid while you are in Martinique, there is the possibility of purchasing supplemental insurance while overseas in case of any illness while on your vacation. For minor health concerns, always carry a Travel Medical Kit.

If you must bring prescription medication with you, pack these items in their clearly labeled original containers. Designed pill boxes may not make it through customs. Additionally, include a prescription slip or note from your physician explaining your need for the medication.

While most vacationers usually remain healthy while vacationing in Martinique, and there are no vaccination requirements to enter the country, there are a few health issues that may affect travellers. Here are some of the most common dangers that tourists can face on the island:

Overexposure to the sun is one of the greatest dangers to vacationers. Remember to use sunscreen with adequate SPF protection for your skin, and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration;

Insect bites are also a problem for people spending a lot of time outside. Make sure to wear mosquito repellent to keep those pesky bugs away;

When going barefoot on the beach or wading in shallow waters, be aware of sea urchins and jelly fish that can cause nasty injuries to your feet;

Travellers should be up to date on common vaccinations like Hepatitis A and B, tetanus, and measles boosters, before travelling to foreign countries.

While enjoying your vacation in Martinique, be sure to remember these medical and safety tips in order to stay healthy while soaking up the sun on your island getaway.

Neighbourly GetAways
A learning medical student/professional may find a health tour interesting in Guadeloupe’s “Centre Hospitalier Universitaire” (Medical/Hospital University) de Pointe á Pitre/ Abymes. The hospital possesses a 24-hour emergency room and also provides medical care and tutoring for students. Visits are on afternoons from 1:00p.m. and many individuals visit for their annual check-ups. “Laboratoire Perie Medical” in Abymes Guadeloupe with over 35 years in existence is a good choice for a second opinion.

Historical note! There are five modern hospitals plus about 24 clinics in Guadeloupe.
Get to know your neighbours!

A bit of the French for the Visitor

L’hôpital /The hospital
Un pharmacien: A pharmacist
Un médecin/ Le docteur: A doctor
Laboratoire: Laboratory
Un infirmière: A nurse (F)
Mal á la tête: headache
Je suis enrhumé: I have the cold
La Grippe: the flu
Un crise cardiaque: a heart attack
La douleur: pain
faible: weak
Un médicament: medication
Le Sang: blood
Enflé: Swollen
Le malade: Patient

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