We were scuba diving in San Carlos, Mexico once and when we surfaced my son got a man-of-war jelly fish right across his face. These are extremely dangerous and, needless to say, he was in massive pain and we had nothing to alleviate the problem. I immediately took him to the nearest farmacia (or pharmacy). On our way, my wife looked up the Mexican word for jelly fish in the Mexican/English dictionary I had. As I walked up to the counter, I was pointing to his face saying whatever word I found and the pharmacist took out a tube of something, spread it on his face, and he got immediate relief. Total cost; $5. When we got back home, I found this item is one of the best in the world for the relief of jelly fish stings, but it's only by prescription in the U.S. I can't imagine how long it would have taken to go to an emergency room, waited in their long lines, and had him suffering all the while. Not to mention having to pay a $100 co-pay to get the same stuff.
Yes, we should always take more of our prescription medication than we need when traveling. And yes, we should take some medication to help eliminate any usual problems like indigestion or diarrhea that we could encounter. But there are alot of things that can happen when traveling we just can't foresee or plan for. If we let those things dictate what we'll do or not do, we'll never do anything outside of our comfort zone. Sometimes we have to go outside that zone to learn and experience new things and to do so, we take calculated risks.
It's a wonderful world and yes, we need to take some precautions, but we cannot plan for everything that could happen and we can't take everything with us 'just in case'.
The title of the article dealt with cruisers. As I said, all cruise ships have the basic OTC items in their stores. There was no mention of that in the story.
As I said, I just think stories like this are written by people who have no idea what they're talking about, group every country in to one category, and are afraid of their own shadows. It appears to me their story, as usual, is meant more to make people afraid than it is to inform. I took journalism in college and the number one thing we were taught about writing a story is that we were to do it in such a way as to inform people with the facts without influencing them with our personal feelings. Their first sentence is indicative of their ignorance and is insulting to our European friends.
We've been to 40 countries so far and we've never had any problems where the locals weren't ready to help us in any way we needed it. People around the world are wonderful and it's a shame stories like this tend to try and scare people from finding out just how wonderful other countries can be.