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Travel & living abroad
Last updated at 17:32 (UK time) 11 May 2011

Sick or injured abroad

A patient in a hospital. Photo by Getty images.

If you become sick or are injured abroad you should seek medical attention locally if you feel you need it. Your travel insurance should cover most medical expenses if you have taken out a comprehensive policy.  

If you have travelled with a tour guide or have a tour representative you should contact them in the first instance if your condition is not serious. However, you should be aware that any healthcare arrangements made by a tour guide or representative may have been made with a private ambulance or hospital and only private insurance will cover any costs incurred in these circumstances.

Please be aware that medical facilities abroad may differ from those in the UK.

In hospital abroad

If you're admitted to hospital abroad you should contact your nearest embassy.  

What we can do to help:

  • aim to contact you within 24 hours of being told that you have been admitted
  • contact your family and friends in the UK
  • liaise with your insurance company or medical evacuation company
  • visit you within 48 hours of being told you have gone into hospital if we feel that this is appropriate to your circumstances and there is an Embassy or consulate in the same city as the hospital you are in.

We'll take into account your condition, whether you have family and friends with you, whether you are with a tour company and the medical facilities available.

If you have been hospitalised as a result of an assault or other crime, we will aim to visit you as soon as possible. Please see the victims of crime page for more information.

What we can't do:

We cannot pay for your medical treatment or provide treatment ourselves.

We won’t usually contact or visit you if you have travelled specifically for medical treatment.

Useful contacts

Consular Assistance

Telephone: 020 7008 1500


See also


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