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Advice for medical practitioners to help people travel safely

The Association of British Insurers, in partnership with the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC), has produced guidance for medical practitioners on travel insurance, to help them ensure patients planning to travel abroad are appropriately covered.

This guidance highlights the key considerations and information travel insurers need from travellers requesting travel insurance. This helps travellers accurately answer questions about their health to make sure their policy offers suitable cover.

When advising patients planning trips or holidays, medical practitioners should consider the following:

  1. Assess whether it is advisable for the individual to travel, looking at their medical history, medication or treatment, and the destination, including potential hazards and activities.
  2. Ensure the patient knows the medical terminology for any condition they currently have or have had, understand their medication, and are aware of any potential symptoms.
  3. If the patient is in the process or waiting for medical investigations, consider any travel implications.
  4. Make sure the individual has any vaccinations or medication (e.g. anti-malarials) they need and is aware of Foreign and Commonwealth advice for their destination.

Ross Penstone-Smith, ABI Policy Adviser for General Insurance comments:

“The main purpose of travel insurance is to cover the potentially high cost of medical treatment and repatriation following an injury or illness abroad. This important guidance will assist medical practitioners in conversations with patients who wish to travel abroad, including to help ensure patients accurately declare any medical conditions to their insurer. It’s also essential to check FCO advice before travelling and take a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) when travelling to Europe.”

Dr Dipti Patel, director at NaTHNaC said:

“The new guidelines are an invaluable resource for travellers and healthcare professionals. They provide a clear framework for medical practitioners and cover essential aspects of travel insurance, to help ensure vulnerable travellers are fully protected whilst abroad.”

The guidance for medical practitioners is available to view or download from the TravelHealthPro website.

Last updated 01/07/2016