Routine Blood Tests Needed (Medical)

My husband and I have an extended trip planned this summer. Unfortunately, I have thyroid problems and will need several blood tests done while we are away. Does anyone have any ideas on the best way to arrange these tests?

Posted by Anna
Seattle
3 posts

Thanks for the reply! As far as I know, the American Embassies can only provide lists of clinics, they cannot specifically recommend any of them. Once I get the lab work done, I will send the results, along with the normal ranges used during the testing, to my doctor. My doc is pretty supportive, all things considered. The problems, as we see them, are as follows:
1. How do we find a reputable and good clinic?
2. We don't know how long it will take to get the results back and may want to move on before the results are available. How do we find a lab that can get the results back quickly?
3. How do I convince a foriegn hospital that I just need specific lab work (not a doctor)? I have written notes from my doctor, but we don't know if they will be enough.
I am sure there are other issues that we aren't even aware of. We will have to pay out of pocket, but then my insurance will reimburse me. Any info would be appreciated!

Posted by Kate
Scotland
505 posts

Which countries will you be travelling to?

In general, it's not generally that straight forward to get non-emergency care in the EU if you are not a resident. Be prepared to pay for any care up front and for it to be expensive.

I suspect that, depending on the country, you will have to seek out GPs who will serve non-residents, pay up front and find out at the time how long the tests will take. I have no idea how long things will take - that really depends on the GP, whether there's a holiday and the particular testing arrangements.

Often guide books or official internet tourist websites will list GPs in each major city who have practices that are set up for tourists. You should probably try to contact them and find out if they can do the test and how long it will take. Probably best if you need a particular test and know where you will be because you may need to be in larger cities to find appropriate care.

Kate

Posted by Kate
Scotland
505 posts

To add, based on my experience with both prescriptions and dental and eye care, you may not be able to get tests done without at least a brief check-up by a GP. The problem is that medical licenses are different so a US doctor cannot practice medicine in the UK without a UK license, so their 'orders' (i.e. prescriptions, medical test requests) aren't valid without approval by a UK physician. Pretty much the same across Europe.
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Thus I think you may need to make contacts ahead of time and see if you can get your request pre-cleared before you leave. Otherwise you may have to spend time and money for a physician visit before getting any tests.
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Kate

Posted by Kate
Scotland
505 posts

Sorry, I really don't know. As a resident I get my care through the NHS in Scotland, which means I never see a bill except for prescriptions.
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Again, I think your best bet is to use the internet or guidebooks to locate GPs or internists who will treat foreigners and get information directly from them. It might be much easier than I think, but it's something you should definitely arrange before your leave in order to make sure that you can get the right test, get results in time and outside of the UK, not worry about language issues.
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Good luck!
Kate

Posted by Anna
Seattle
3 posts

Thanks for the info. I will start looking into that. We will be travelling across Europe, through many different countries. Based on our rough plans, I think I will need a blood test in Italy and then again in London. When you say "expensive" what, specifically, do you mean? My insurance will reimburse me, but I am curious as to the out of pocket expenses...

Posted by Emily
Vienna, Austria
296 posts
  1. How do we find a reputable and good clinic? This is Europe and there are standards so any clinic will be good and reputable. As for finding one, I would do a google search. In Vienna where I live, for example, there are tons.
  2. We don't know how long it will take to get the results back and may want to move on before the results are available. How do we find a lab that can get the results back quickly? Have them email you the results with your doctor in copy. I do this all the time.
  3. How do I convince a foriegn hospital that I just need specific lab work (not a doctor)? I have written notes from my doctor, but we don't know if they will be enough. Take the lab work order from your doctor with you to the lab. Contact the lab in advance to see if they have a specific order form.
Posted by Sasha
Bainbridge Island
1583 posts

This question is seven years old. Someone brought it up,to offer the services of their clinic.