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Foreign Office : Expatriates 'should take out international health insurance'

Source: Expatriate Healthcare - Wed 15th Sep 2010

Expatriates could be facing costly hospital treatment if they are taken ill overseas without medical insurance, research has shown.

In findings that highlight the importance of expat health insurance cover, Sainsbury's research revealed that the cost of hospital treatment abroad has climbed 6.25 per cent year-on-year to an average of 2,040.

Some of the most common ailments can cost thousands of pounds to treat, so expatriates who do have not have overseas healthcare insurance could be paying 5,500 to have doctors cure their appendicitis or even 1,500 just to have a head wound seen to.

People who come into a hospital overseas with symptoms of heart attack could be forced to pay out 12,500 for treatment, while examination of a rogue chest pain could set expats back by 8,000.

Scott Gorman from Sainsbury's commented: "The message is clear: if you do not protect yourself by taking out a comprehensive ... insurance policy then you could be left facing bills that run into the thousands."

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Britain warns travellers that they go abroad without an expat health insurance policy at their own risk, but pointed out that the cost of being transported home for treatment will fall on them.

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