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British holidaymakers delay medical treatment because of cost fears

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More than a third of British holidaymakers who become ill while abroad have delayed medical treatment until they return home, according to a survey.

Almost half of British travellers became ill, and of these 35% delayed often essential medical treatment because of concerns about the potential cost and lack of travel insurance, the Department of Health survey showed.

Many travellers admitted buying treatment over the counter that they did not understand due to language barriers.

Doctors have advised that they ensure they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which will entitle them to free or cut-price medical care anywhere in the European Union.

Dr Hilary Jones, GMTV’s resident GP, said: ‘I’m concerned that so many holidaymakers are needlessly putting their health at risk, when a valid EHIC will provide them to reduced cost or even free treatment.’

To obtain an EHIC, visit the NHS Choices website.

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