Austria is probably best-known as a ski destination, but the gorgeous Alpine scenery is making it increasingly popular as a summer destination too. Vienna’s history and architecture makes it popular for short breaks, and its position at the heart of Europe makes Austria a popular stop-off destination for people road tripping or inter-railing through the continent. Whatever your reasons for visiting Austria, chances are that your visit will be without incident. If however you’re unfortunate enough to have an accident or fall ill when you’re in Austria, here’s what you need to know about accessing state healthcare under the EHIC scheme.
Many travellers are aware of something called EHIC, and might even know that having an EHIC allows you to access healthcare on the same basis as residents of countries across Europe. Despite the Brexit process, there have been no changes to the way in which EHIC works, and there will be no changes until the UK fully leaves the European Union. Even then, the UK government may choose to maintain the reciprocal healthcare agreements. There should be announcements in the press or on television nearer the time. But until then, we can carry on using our EHIC when we are travelling in Europe this summer. But beware – you can’t use it everywhere you might think you can.
According to figures issued by the Office of National Statistics, around 13% of people living in the UK at any given time were born overseas. Whether people have come to work or study, or to join family who are already settled in the UK, this diverse population can sometimes encounter problems when travelling overseas and returning to the UK. They may need to apply for a visa which UK passport holders don’t need, or have more hoops to jump through getting insurance for trips abroad. One of the confusing issues is the EHIC system, and eligibility will depend on a number of factors.
Most British holidaymakers have heard of EHIC cover, the reciprocal arrangement between different European countries which provides emergency healthcare. There is also a lot of confusion over the scheme and how it works, and much of the confusion hinges on the interpretation of the word Europe. Does it mean European Union, is it a geographical term or does it mean something else altogether? And what will Brexit mean for our EHIC cover?
Spain is once again booming in popularity as a holiday destination for UK sunseekers, and although nearly all holidays to Spain are enjoyable and great fun, a small minority of holidaymakers need to seek medical attention for themselves or for a member of their family while overseas. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that EHIC gives you free healthcare overseas as the NHS is free in the UK – every country’s system differs and Spain is no exception. Here’s what you need to know to access state healthcare in Spain.
Heading off to the Algarve for some Portuguese sunshine this summer? Or perhaps your reason for visiting the Portuguese coast has more to do with its award-winning golf courses? Whatever your reasons for travelling to Portugal, you’ll find a warm welcome, almost guaranteed sunshine and great value for money prices. Nobody likes to think about being ill on holiday, but the worry is made a lot less if you have organised EHIC cover for each member of the family before you travel. If you do fall ill in Portugal and need to seek medical attention, here’s what you need to know.
Is there anything better than a summer holiday in beautiful Italy? It’s one of Europe’s most ancient nations, packed with history and with superb countryside and beaches too. Whether you’re heading to Rome for a weekend sightseeing and eating pasta, or for a relaxing villa holiday in the Tuscan countryside, you must be prepared for every eventuality. So along with the phrase book and sun protection cream, make sure you’ve got your EHIC cover arranged for every member of the family before you get on the plane.
Ireland is the only EU country to share a land border with part of the UK, and we have many close ties with our Irish neighbours. It is only a century since all of Ireland was part of the UK, and some rules regarding UK citizens entering Ireland are different than going to France or Spain – you don’t need a passport to cross the border into the Irish Republic, for example. Many UK residents travel to the Irish Republic regularly, to visit friends or family, or business or on holiday. But what happens if you fall ill in Ireland and need to see the doctor?
If you’re one of the millions of Brits who heads across the Channel to our nearest continental neighbour each year, there are a few things which you shouldn’t neglect to pack in your suitcase. Along with those holiday essentials like sun cream and a good paperback book, remember to take essential paperwork which will help you in an emergency – copies of your passport, your travel insurance policy and helpline number, and your EHIC cover information for each member of the family. Of course we hope you’ll have an uneventful holiday and won’t need your EHIC cover, but here’s what to do if the worst happens.
Mainland Greek and its hundreds of stunning islands has long been a popular holiday destination for British holidaymakers, and worries about trouble in destinations such as Egypt and Tunisia has led to an increased demand for holidays under the Greek sunshine. Whether you’re looking at Rhodes, Crete or Corfu, one thing you shouldn’t forget to pack is your EHIC paperwork. Until the Brexit process has been completed, EHIC cover for medical treatment remains unchanged. Here’s what you need to know if you have to access healthcare on your next Greek holiday.