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Teachers and the flu epidemic

May 05, 2009

Hello again,
Is it an epidemic or a pandemic? I suspect that if you are a teacher working in Mexico you won’t be pedantic about it. With the country virtually shut down, what protection do you have?

I doubt if hopeful teachers ...

...embarking on a foreign adventure and taking up a post in a new country give much thought to the likelihood of being caught up in a global health scare. Yet the current situation highlights the importance for teachers to make proper provisions for their personal health and safety. I think the first question you ask a school that offers you a post should be: do you include health insurance in your compensation package? To be honest, I don’t know if many schools do. But you really need to know what kind of health care you can obtain and how it will be funded. Will you have the same entitlement as a normal citizen? Is that funded by the State or do individuals have to pay all or part of the costs? Only when you have all this information can you decide if you need additional insurance or not.

If you need to take out your own health insurance, you need to arrange this before you leave for your new post. Do some research to come up with the best deal but look for the following areas of cover: hospital care, accident compensation, loss of earnings, repatriation, dental care. Of course teachers in Mexico might well find that they can’t easily be repatriated if they are considered infectious, but to have proper insurance in circumstances like these means that at least you and your family know you can be properly cared for.

I stress the importance of shopping around as such insurance is not cheap. The charges also depend on the age of the inured person and the country to which they are going. Of course we all hope not to fall ill under such circumstances but this latest example of flu spreading so rapidly shows how easy it is to be caught unawares and completely randomly in a health crisis.

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