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02 December 2015 09:16
Doctors can help ensure patients get the travel insurance cover they need
A new guide has been drawn up to help healthcare professionals make sure their patients have the appropriate travel insurance when they head off abroad on holiday.
The advice has been compiled by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).
It pinpoints the detailed information insurance companies need most when they receive a request to provide travellers with cover that may have to foot the cost of treatment abroad or repatriation in the event of a serious illness or injury.
And it asks doctors to consider a range of issues when they are advising patients who are planning to travel abroad or go on an overseas holiday.
If the patient is undergoing or waiting for any medical tests or investigations, doctors are urged to think about whether that has any implications for their travel plans.
GPs should ensure those with a pre-existing medical condition, meanwhile, are au fait with the correct medical terminology, aware of potential symptoms and fully understand their medication.
Doctors are asked to make sure their patients are up to date with any Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice about the country they are visiting, and have had any required vaccinations or anti-malarial medication.
Medical practitioners are also urged to use their patient's medical history, any information about medication and treatment and details about their destination and what they plan to do there to gauge whether it is advisable for them to travel.
As well as helping insurance providers, the guidance aims to help holidaymakers provide the information required to ensure they get suitable travel insurance cover.
NaTHNaC director Dr Dipti Patel says the guidance will provide both healthcare professionals and holidaymakers with vital information, helping vulnerable travellers, in particular, get the protection they need.
The ABI's policy adviser for general insurance, Ross Penstone-Smith, says the advice will help ensure people accurately disclose any medical conditions to their insurance provider.
People travelling in Europe could also obtain and take a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
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