l Dear Sir, An article on Saturday highlights that fewer Britons traveling abroad are insured and that this is short sighted. If it is referring to European travel I disagree. Holiday health insurance is normally unnecessary and a waste of money. ABTA (the source of the report) and the airline industry have a vested interest in pushing this expensive add on to your holiday package. The EHIC card entitles you to use the health service of your holiday country for any emergency just like a resident. The article points out that this card does not cover the cost of private treatment or repatriation.

This is correct but it is the same if you fell ill on a weekend in Barcelona without private cover - as a Majorca Resident you'd have to make do with the local health service and wait until you were well enough to get back home on your own steam. Let me put it another way. In the days when I was still in the UK if I planned a weekend away from London say in Brighton would I ever have considered taking out health insurance for the two days? No way - NHS would provide! The article states that millions are putting themselves at risk of sky high medical bills without insurance. I believe the opposite that in addition to paying the premiums on the insurance they are putting themselves at risk of further sky high bills. If a UK tourist needs an emergency operation while on holiday here but has had the “foresight” to take out private insurance and uses it he will probably get an unexpected bill for any necessary extras not covered by the policy. A friend had such an event (a heart attack) and although he thought he had full cover he had to pay 10000€ for stints prior to the operation - something he wouldn't have had to pay to the perfectly adequate Spanish National Health here in Palma.

Mike Lillico
Playa de Palma