Holidayextras.com urge travellers to check and renew health cards
Around 3.3 million travellers will hold out-of-date European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) by the end of March this year without knowing, according to a new survey.
The Department of Health is urging holiday-makers to check and renew their EHICs before they travel after their recent poll showed that nearly three in five people claim to have an EHIC, but 68 per cent donít know when it expires.
Holders of out-of-date EHICs will have to pay for medical treatment themselves or claim on their travel insurance. A valid EHIC entitles British travellers to reduced cost or free healthcare in most European countries.
The Department of Health research also reveals that almost half of British travellers have become ill or injured on holiday, and 35 per cent of these have delayed treatment until they return home due to fears about the cost.
Speaking for the Department of Health campaign, Dr Hilary Jones, GMTVís resident GP, says: "Iím concerned that so many holiday-makers are needlessly putting their health at risk, when a valid EHIC will provide them with access to reduced cost or even free treatment. By delaying treatment until you return home, you are potentially allowing a condition to worsen in the meantime...
ďIf youíre travelling in Europe, it is vital that you carry a valid EHIC, as well as comprehensive travel insurance. The last thing you want to be thinking about when youíre on holiday is paying unnecessary medical bills, which could cost thousands of pounds. The EHIC card will give you peace of mind that youíll be looked after if something does go wrong - but only if it is in date. Check your EHIC now to ensure it has not expired - itís quick and easy to apply for a new card.Ē
To renew or obtain an EHIC, log on to http://www.nhs.uk/healthcareabroad or call 0845 606 2030. For further information call the EHIC enquiries line on 0845 605 0707.
Holiday Extras offers a range of comprehensive and competitively-priced travel insurance policies. Go to holidayextras.com to find your annual, single trip, winter sports, business or golf travel cover.
To book travel insurance visit www.holidayextras.com or call 0871 360 2186
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