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Palma.—An increase in tourism also means a sharp rise in the number of holiday makers who need medical attention while on holiday.

Figures released by the Balearic regional health service, Ib-Salut, reveal that at the end of last year, Ib-Salut sent the Spanish National Health Service a bill for 18.3 million euros for it to recuperate from foreign health services to cover the cost of having treated 44,830 foreign tourists - 11.42 percent more than in 2012.

Medical centre

And, more tourists from Great Britain were treated than any other country.

15, 103, nearly 5,000 more than the previous year, British holiday makers were either treated at their local medical centre of Ib-Salut hospital, 33.7 percent of the total number of patients requiring medical attention while on holiday.

Germany accounted for the second largest group with 10,724 tourists being treated followed by the Italians in third place.

Obviously, only those holiday makers carrying the European health card will be treated for free at an Ib-Salut clinic or hospital while those holiday makers who have taken out private medical insurance will more than likely be taken to a private clinic.

The vast majority of cases, 42,466, required minor attention and were dealt with at a local Ib-Salut clinic while 2,364 did need to be admitted to hospital.

The cost of treating foreign holiday makers in clinics was 5.3 million euros while the hospital bill ran up to 13 million euros meaning that Ib-Salut sent the Spanish National Health Service in Madrid with a bill for a total of 18.3 million euros at the end of last year. What the National Health Service then has to do is breakdown the total bill and charge the corresponding national health services around Europe what they owe Ib-Salut.

Refunds

However, some of the costs and cases are contested and Ib-Salut never receives a full refund, this year, for example, it can expect to see around 70 percent of last year’s costs returned.

The bulk of cases were in Majorca, 25,015, followed by Ibiza, 10,822, Minorca, 5,976 and finally Formentera, 3,017.

The peak months last year were July and October, although August and September were also busy and the summer is so far proving to be just as, if not busier, than last summer.