More and more Brits are opting for package holidays when travelling abroad. And there are many benefits: they save time and hassle when it comes to planning and bookings, they can be competitively priced and they offer a high degree of protection, including travel insurance. But what if you suffer a medical emergency while abroad and want to return home as soon as possible? Do package holidays cover medical repatriation?
Medical repatriation cover
It’s something no-one wants to think about when planning a holiday, but it’s important to consider what would happen if you suffered a medical emergency abroad. Many of us enjoy the benefits of the EHIC scheme, which entitles us to access to healthcare while travelling within the EU at a reduced cost or free of charge, but might not realise that it doesn’t cover repatriation.
Additional travel insurance can always be taken out, but if you’ve booked your holiday as a Package Holiday through a UK travel agent or tour operator, you’re probably already covered under the The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations of 1992. This cover includes repatriation without requiring separate repatriation insurance.
How do I arrange a medical repatriation through my holiday package?
The exact process can vary from one tour operator to the next depending on their policies and those of the insurance companies they partner with. However, in most cases, there will be an emergency assistance number you can call to find out what your next steps should be.
Different insurers might have different requirements before they accept the charges of the repatriation, often these centre around medical necessity. Most insurance companies will assess internally if your situation meets their requirements. If not, they will in all likelihood offer to cover the expenses of local treatment, and possibly accommodation.
What if I still want to go home?
Being in hospital abroad can be extremely unsettling and traumatic – both for the patient and their family and friends. The differences in practices, patient care and hygiene standards, the challenges of navigating a foreign healthcare system often involving a different language all add to the stress people experience. It’s not surprising that many who find themselves in such a situation prefer to go home as soon as possible – even if their insurance company has denied their application.
In such cases, medical repatriation companies like EMS 24-7 can help. We work independently from insurance companies and can carry out our own medical examinations. If it’s safe for the patient to travel, we can almost always find a way to bring them home. We offer medical repatriation services by long-distance road ambulance, by private air ambulance or on a commercial flight with a medical escort.
The first step is to get in touch with us so we can listen to you and understand your situation. Our medical team will then assess the case and advise on the best way forward. If you then request a free quote, we always aim to get that back to you within an hour, so you know exactly what’s involved and what your options are. Once payment has been received, our teams take care of all the details and make all the arrangements for a seamless bed-to-bed service.
For any further questions or information, please don’t hesitate to contact us – even if you just want to find out what’s possible. We are here to help.