What to do if you need medical treatment abroad

We all hope that it won’t happen to us, but the fact is that some people do need medical treatment whilst they are on holiday abroad, so it pays to know what to do.

If you have purchased travel insurance from Total Travel Protection, we will send you details on what to do if you need medical treatment abroad before you travel, but here is a quick summary:

Obtaining medical treatment abroad

Obtaining medical treatment abroad

Minor injuries and illness

If you become unwell, or sustain a minor injury whilst abroad, please call our 24/7 assistance team before seeking treatment. They can help you find appropriate treatment locally.

Serious illness and injury

Call the local emergency services immediately using the local equivalent of 999. For example, 112 can be used throughout Europe and 911 in the USA and Canada.

Symptoms that might signify a serious illness include, but are not limited to, difficulty breathing, chest pain, seizure (fit) activity, decreased level of consciousness, heavy bleeding, sudden swelling of the face and lips, signs of a stroke or any other life-threatening condition.

Once you arrive at hospital you should contact our 24/7 assistance team as soon as possible. It is vital that you do this so they can authorise cover. Failure to do so may invalidate your claim.

Please note, our policies do not cover any costs for private medical treatment unless it has been authorised by our emergency assistance team.

24/7 emergency medical assistance

If you do require medical treatment abroad, you must call our 24/7 assistance team.

In addition to authorising cover for treatment (up to £10 million per person) they are there to help you get the treatment you need, communicate with the hospital on your behalf, communicate with family members and arrange repatriation back to the UK if you are unable to return home on your prebooked transport.

Repatriation can mean varying degrees of support and assistance for your return journey, as deemed medically necessary, including:

  • Arranging and paying for an alternative flight because you missed your pre-booked flight due to receiving medical treatment.
  • Organising more than one seat on a plane because you are required to keep your leg raised or lay flat.
  • Providing a stretcher if you are required to lay flat.
  • Providing a medical escort to monitor your condition throughout your journey.
  • Providing an air ambulance to get you back to a hospital in the UK.

Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

If you are travelling within the European Union, we strongly recommend that you carry a GHIC with you. You can apply for a free GHIC card at: https://services.nhsbsa.nhs.uk....

The Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) allows you to access state-provided healthcare in all European Union (EU) countries

If you use a GHIC when obtaining medical treatment in the EU, and this results in a reduced cost for medical treatment, we will reduce the amount of any excess payment you are required to make.

We are here to help

Don’t worry, you don’t need to remember all of this information; when you buy a policy from Total Travel Protection you will receive instructions on what to do in an emergency, including the number for our 24/7 medical assistance team, by email before you travel, or if you have requested postal documents on a handy card that will fit in your wallet.

Details of how to reach us in a medical emergency or to make a claim can also be found on the cover of your policy wording.

We recommend that you look up the local number for the emergency services before you travel and put the number for our 24/7 emergency medical assistance team in your phone.