Global Risk & Safety

Ohio State Country Medical Care Standard

Ohio State Country Medical Care Standard

The Ohio State Country Medical Care Standard utilizes the resources of multiple university insurance providers to provide a general guideline on the medical capacity within each country. The standard represents a composite scale based on the insurance providers’ medical facilities rating. The standard does not guarantee or prioritize travelers’ access to facilities, medical care or payment of claims.

The scale provides guidance to Ohio State colleges/units supporting group travel and individual travelers to assess the general standard of care should medical assistance be needed, identify locations that present access challenges and where may need to be coordinated or retained prior to departure. The scale only measures the standard of care based on the availability of facilities. Travelers to countries rated as “Basic” or “Low” on the scale should travel with the knowledge there is a potential lack of medical resources.

However even in countries rated “Highest” or “High” on the scale, a traveler’s itinerary may impact access to medical resources. Access to specialist care, counseling or medical should never assume equivalent resources are available and immediately accessible while abroad.  Travelers with pre-existing conditions that may require medical care or prescription medication should always consult with their treating provider to develop a plan for their travel. Travelers whose plan may require specific medical treatment can consult with their program sponsor (e.g. Office of International Affairs) and the insurance provider to identify resources and schedule appointments prior to travel. 

Insurance policies assist in identifying existing resources in-. Insurance providers reimburse claims for authorized medical care according to the policy terms. Travelers should be aware that there may not be a hospital, specialist doctors, multilingual counselors or emergency transport in some locations. Although individuals and groups have health insurance, travelers should not expect a high level of medical resources in low resource environments.   

Country Specific Medical Care Standard Scale

Highest – Medical facilities of high or good standard are prevalent countrywide. Travelers in rural or remote areas may need to travel to the nearest town or city for critical care or to access medical specialists.

High – Medical facilities of high or good standard are available in major urban centers. In most smaller towns, routine medical needs are accommodated adequately at clinics or regional hospitals. Travelers in smaller towns or those in rural or remote areas may need to travel to the nearest urban center for serious injury and illness or to access medical specialists.

Moderate – Medical facilities of an adequate standard are available in major urban centers. Care meeting high standards may be limited to select facilities in primary urban centers. Travelers in smaller towns and rural areas may find adequate care limited to routine illness and minor injury. Treatment for serious injury or illness and access to medical specialists will likely require travel to the nearest major urban center.  Immediate access to emergency transport and care may be limited in remote areas.

Basic – Medical facilities are limited. Facilities in primary urban centers may provide care of adequate (or in rare instances high) standard for acute emergency care, routine illness and minor injury. Travelers in smaller towns and rural or remote areas are unlikely to find facilities for care beyond basic medical service. Access to medical specialists will likely require travel to a primary urban center or may necessitate a return to the United States for medical care and costs associated with travel would not be covered by insurance. Immediate access to emergency transport is limited in primary urban centers and lacking in rural or remote areas. Local medical evacuation to a primary urban center is probable for travelers with serious illness or injury. Authorized external medical evacuation is probable for illness or injury requiring general surgery or trauma care and costs associated with travel would be covered by insurance.

Low – Medical facilities are severely limited. Select facilities in primary urban centers may provide care of adequate standard for acute emergency care, routine illness and minor injury. Access to medical specialists is likely to necessitate a return to the United States for medical care and costs associated with travel would not be covered by insurance. Immediate access to emergency transport may be deficient in primary urban centers and lacking in most of regions of the country. Authorized external medical evacuation is likely for serious illness and injury and probable in cases requiring general surgery or trauma care and costs associated with travel would be covered by insurance.

Ratings Scales for Program Medical and Mental Health and Counseling Accessibility

Office of International Affairs education abroad programs include two additional rating scales. These ratings may also be utilized by other Ohio State managed programs.

The Program Medical Accessibility rating scale utilizes the provider listings from the supplemental travel insurance and additional resources to illustrate the level of care available at the primary itinerary locations for the program. The scale factors in access to certain levels of care (ICU; 24/7 ER); diagnostic capabilities (CT; MRI; X-ray) and specialist care. It aims to provide students a nuanced insight of medical care availability in the primary program locations during the program selection . In some countries with a “Highest” country medical standard, field sites and rural excursions may still pose medical access concerns. Conversely, in some countries with “Basic” or “Low” country medical standards, primary urban centers may have significant, high-standard resources.

The Mental Health and Counseling Accessibility rating scale also utilizes the supplemental insurance provider listings and additional resources to illustrate access to mental health resources at the primary itinerary locations for the program. The scale enables students to identify program locations with pre-identified resources and those where counseling and medical assistance is inconsistent or unavailable.   

The accessibility scales do not guarantee or prioritize travelers’ specific access to facilities, medical care or payment of claims. Travelers concerned with access to specific resources during their program abroad are advised to verify resource availability prior to committing to a specific program.

Program Medical Accessibility

Highest Resource – location has comprehensive facilities identified by the insurance provider (ICU and 24/7 ER); advanced diagnostics (CT and MRI); and a broad range of specialist care

High Resource – location has emergency facilities identified by the insurance provider (24/7 ER or ICU); advanced diagnostics (CT or MRI); limited access to specialist care

Moderate Resource – location has 24/7 ER capacity and basic diagnostics (X-ray); limited/no access to advanced diagnostics; limited/no access to specialist care; specialist and inpatient care may require medical relocation within the country or region.

Basic Resource – location has known 24/7 ER capacity; limited/no access to advanced diagnostics; no access to specialist care; specialist and inpatient care will likely require medical relocations within the country or region.

Low/Remote Resource – significant portions of the itinerary occur in locations where access to immediate emergency care is limited and medical relocation will be required to access facilities; diagnostics, specialist and inpatient care. Medical relocation may be within the country or region or require an authorized evacuation to the United States.    

Program medical accessibility and medical relocation (travel) are linked to the country medical standard.

Mental Health and Counseling Accessibility

Highest Resource – location has availability to specific facility with multiple medical and counseling professionals identified by the insurance provider.

High Resource – location has availability to five or more individual medical or counseling professionals identified by the insurance provider. Provider access is subject to availability and advanced scheduling of appointment may be required.

Moderate Resource – location has availability of fewer than five individual medical or counseling professionals identified by the insurance provider. Provider access is subject to availability and advanced scheduling of appointment is encouraged.

Basic Resource – location has no identified medical or counseling professionals. A local hospital or clinic may provide emergency outpatient services. However, care may be subject to availability and primarily occur in the language of the host nation or local population without translation. Access is available through online or telephone resources but will be dependent on access to mobile (cellular connection) and internet (data) communications. Most resources do not work through WhatsApp or wi-fi based communication platforms. Serious health concerns may require medical withdrawal or an authorized medical evacuation.

Low/External Resource – location has no identified medical or counseling professionals. Access is available through online or telephone resources but will be dependent on access to mobile (cellular connection) and internet (data) communications. Most resources do not work through WhatsApp or wi-fi based communication platforms. Serious health concerns may require medical withdrawal or an authorized medical evacuation.

Mental health and counseling accessibility should not be automatically linked to the country medical standard. Travelers in locations with a Basic or Low/External accessibility rating should assume the primary resources to be mobile (cellular connection) and internet (data) communications. It should also be noted that due to state and international licensure standards, remote counseling is not offered by the Office of Student Life Counseling and Consultation Services (CCS). Travel expenses related to a medical withdrawal are not a covered expense.

Country Ratings

Andorra Ireland Singapore 
Australia Japan Sweden 
Austria LiechtensteinSwitzerland
BelgiumLuxembourgUnited Arab Emirates
DenmarkMaltaUnited Kingdom
Finland Monaco 
FranceNetherlands  
GermanyNew Zealand  
Hong KongNorway  

ArubaCzech RepublicPoland 
Bahamas GreecePortugal 
BahrainGuadeloupe (French West Indies) Qatar
BermudaIceland Saudi Arabia
Brazil Israel Slovenia
Canada ItalySouth Korea
ChileKuwaitSpain
Costa Rica MacauTaiwan
CubaMexico 

ArgentinaEstoniaNicaragua 
AlbaniaFijiOman
Antigua & Barbuda French GuianaPalau
ArmeniaGeorgiaPanama
AzerbaijanGrenadaParaguay
BarbadosGuatemalaPeru
BelarusHonduras Philippines
Belize Hungary Romania
BoliviaIndiaRussia 
Bosnia and HerzegovinaIndonesia Seychelles
BotswanaJamaica Sint Maarten
BruneiJordanSlovakia
BulgariaLatviaSouth Africa 
China LebanonSri Lanka
ColombiaLithuaniaThailand 
CroatiaMacedonia Trinidad & Tobago 
CuracaoMalaysia Tunisia
Cyprus MauritiusTurkey
DominicaMayotteTurks and Caicos
Dominican RepublicMontenegroUkraine
Ecuador Morocco Uruguay
EgyptNamibia 
El SalvadorNew Caledonia 

Algeria SerbiaLesotho
BhutanTajikistanMicronesia
Cambodia TongaMongolia
Cape VerdeVanuatuNauru
Eswatini Angola Nigeria
KenyaBangladesh Senegal
KosovoGhanaSuriname
MaldivesGuyana Tuvalu
MoldovaIranVietnam
Nepal KiribatiZambia 
PakistanKyrgyzstan 
SamoaLaos  

AfghanistanGuinea BissauSao Tome
BeninHaitiSierra Leone
Burkina FasoIraqSolomon Islands
BurundiKazakhstanSomalia
CameroonLiberiaSouth Sudan
Central African RepublicLibyaSudan
ChadMadagascarSyria
ComorosMalawiTanzania 
Cote d'Ivoire MaliThe Gambia 
Democratic Republic of CongoMauritaniaTogo
DjiboutiMozambiqueTurkmenistan
East TimorMyanmarUganda 
Equatorial GuineaNigerUzbekistan
EritreaNorth KoreaVenezuela
EthiopiaPapua New Guinea Yemen
GabonRepublic of CongoZimbabwe
GuineaRwanda