BRITISH, German, Italian and French tourists were the visitors who most used the Balearic health services in 2008, the regional government reported yesterday.

Last year, said Health Ministry sources, it cost 3.6 million euros to treat 9'669 Britons requiring medical assistance; over 3.1 million to attend to 7'515 Germans; 915'000 euros to help 3'897 Italians and 639'000 to provide attention to 2'632 French. At a considerable distance, 581 Irish, 506 Belgians, 485 Swedes and 468 Portuguese also required treatment.

The Balearic health service (Ib-salut) last year claimed nearly 10 million euros (9'787'979) for medical attention it gave to foreign tourists in the Islands said the ministry report. In the hospitals and primary care centres right round the region, treatment was given to a total of 27'622 people. The figures are an increase of 23 percent on those registered for 2007 when the healthcare bill was 7'952'782 million euros, 1.8 million less than for 2008. But it was not just a case of the health bill rising, the demand for treatment also went up last year.