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By: Lori Vajda

You planned your vacation to Miami months ago. The hotel is booked. The rental car, arranged. You even asked friends for a list of Miami's best restaurants. But did you consider what to do if you got sick or hurt while traveling?

The chances of needing medical assistance while you are on vacation or business travel in Miami is a possibility you probably haven't considered. And while getting sick or hurt can happen anywhere, finding yourself in need of emergency medical care in an unfamiliar city is the last thing you would want to deal with even if Miami is home to some of the most renowned medical facilities in the nation, such as Uhealth's premium healthcare network and Nicklaus Children's Hospital.

Before you leave to visit the beautiful beaches of Miami, plan for the unexpected.

Before you leave home:

  • Research which doctor's offices and medical care facilities are part of your in-network providers. This will help you avoid paying higher rates for out-of-network care.
  • Bring along your health and prescription insurance cards, as well as your prescription medication in their original bottles.
  • Have your primary-care doctor's phone number handy and that of every person traveling with you.
  • Create a brief self-health summary, including current prescription medications, over-the-counter medications you take regularly and their dosages. Also, list any medical conditions, hospital stays and drug allergies.
  • Consider purchasing travel health insurance, especially if you are traveling internationaly.

Where to Find Medical Help While on Vacation in Miami

While we hope you don't need medical care while you are on vacation in our beautiful city, here are a few tips to help you, just in case.

  • Call 911 for any medical emergency. Don't wait!
  • For minor problems, ask the hotel for the nearest pharmacy, drugstore clinic or urgent-care. A pharmacist may be able help you with over-the-counter recommendations and will accept major health plans or cash payment if you don't have medical coverage.
  • For medical illnesses check with the hotel front desk or concierge desk. Some hotels have in house doctors available but check to see if you insurance policies may not cover this.

Best Hospital Systems in Miami

A Hospital Just For Kids

When it comes to pediatric care, Nicklaus Children's Hospital is South Florida's only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children. Routinely ranked among the best in the nation, this children's hospital has more than 40 pediatric sub-specialties located within the main campus. Should your child need to be admitted here, take comfort knowing that he or she will be under the direct care of a dedicated physician who will coordinate all of your child's medical needs.

Miami and Miami Beach Hospitals

University of Miami Health System's (UHealth's) network includes the renowned Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, ranked the No. 1 eye hospital in the nation for the past 11 years, and University of Miami Hospital, a 560-bed, all private room hospital.

Baptist Health South Florida, the region's largest not-for-profit health care organization, manages seven hospitals in Greater Miami, including Baptist Hospital of Miami, Baptist Children's Hospital, Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute, South Miami Hospital, Homestead Hospital and West Kendall Baptist Hospital. Additionally, Baptist's International Center of Miami is one of the largest hospital-based international programs in the nation with a trained multilingual staff.

Another great hospital directly on Miami Beach is Mount Sinai Medical Center, with multiple facilities to visit (even off Miami beach) if the ened arises and the best heart attack survival rate in Miami Dade (CMS Hospital Compare 2015). There is also Jackson Memorial Hospital which is the southernmost Level 1 adult and pediatric trauma center in the United States and located in Downtown Miami.

You can also find other outstanding health care options in Miami such as the HCA Healthcare group which includes Mercy Hospital, a 473-bed acute care facility affiliated with more than 700 physicians representing 27 medical specialties. Kendall Regional Medical Center, with 24-hour comprehensive medical, surgical and diagnostic services including trauma and burn care, pediatrics and maternity services among other services. Not to be left out, Aventura Hospital is an acute care medical facility boasting 24 hour emergency room wait times shorter than the national average.

For specialized medical services there is Badia Hand to Shoulder Center for renowned upper limb othopedic surgery and centrally located Doral. When it comes to Orthopedic urgent care, there is OrthNOW located on Coral Way, Biscayne Blvd in Midtown and Doral.

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