Medical travellers urged to check insurance
26 January 2009 10:38
People from the UK who are planning to visit another country for medical treatment are being urged to check they are fully insured before leaving.
Some 36 per cent of so-called medical tourists do not check they are adequately covered for the elective or cosmetic treatment they travel for, according to the Post Office.
Of these, one in five does not think to check their policy, while 16 per cent thought their existing insurance would cover any eventuality from the treatment.
More than 70,000 people head overseas for cosmetic or other elective treatments every year, according to the report.
But one in ten people admit that they didn't bother to arrange specialist insurance cover before departing, despite knowing their existing policy wouldn't cover problems arising from such treatment.
Helen Warburton from the Post Office said that it was important that travellers are "honest with their insurance provider about their plans and ensure they are open about any pre-existing medical conditions".
According to Which?, 18 per cent of 'medical tourists' suffer complications as a result of treatment administered overseas and eight per cent seek help from the NHS when they return home.