Holidays Abroad (Medical Treatment)

Holidays Abroad (Medical Treatment)HC Deb 19 March 1968 vol 761 cc235-6 235

asked the Minister of Health what steps he is taking to ensure that when people go on holiday abroad they know they are not covered by National Insurance.

I assume that the hon. Member is referring to medical treatment under the National Health Service.

236 The leaflet which is issued with every passport explains that the National Health Service is not available outside this country and advises people travelling abroad to take out private insurance against the risk of being taken ill while abroad. Publicity is also given to this from time to time in the Press, on the radio and on television. Leaflets about obtaining medical treatment abroad are freely available and are sent to the principal travel agencies and motoring organisations. I welcome this additional opportunity to give further publicity to the situation.

How many satisfactory agreements for medical assistance exist with other countries, and what is being done to improve these arrangements?

Agreements exist with Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Yugoslavia, and New Zealand. Negotiations are being carried out with two Eastern European countries. The fundamental problem is that very few other countries have comparable health services to the extent to which we offer them, and the difficulty is that of obtaining reciprocity on the basis of equity.

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