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Balcony falls and road accidents abroad injuring more Brits on holiday, says survey

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has revealed that more British holidaymakers and residents are seeking the help of the local consular office because of illness, accidents and other incidents overseas.

The British Behaviour Abroad survey has revealed that 3,739 British holidaymakers were treated in casualty departments abroad last year – and there has been an increase in A&E cases abroad of 132% in Majorca and 40% in Ibiza over the last two years.

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Consular services minister Jeremy Browne said:

“While the prospect of ending up in a foreign hospital may be the last thing on your mind as you head overseas for a summer break, sometimes things do go wrong on holiday and many people deeply regret not taking out comprehensive travel insurance.

“We witness many cases where people have invalidated their policy – perhaps by not declaring a pre-existing medical condition or not checking their policy covers a particular activity, such as hiring a moped.”

Since 2010 -11, the number of cases dealt with by local consuls has increased by 3% – and many Brits in trouble abroad are surprised to find that their local consular office is unable to pay for flights home and other expenses.

Mr Browne added:

“Unfortunately they are then surprised that the Foreign Office cannot pay for their bills and flight home.

There has also been a 4% increase in the number of Britons dying abroad, taking the tally last year to 6,237.

Many incidents were found to be alcohol-related and involving hotel balcony accidents, car and pedestrian accidents and heart attacks, with a proliferation of these taking place in popular holiday destinations such as the Canary Islands, Spain and the Balearic islands, which include Majorca.

Cases of rape also increased, with the most cases of sexual assault reported in Egypt (24) and Turkey (23).

The Philippines was the country most Brits found themselves in trouble in – France was the least likely destination for Brits abroad to land in trouble.

However, in 2011-12, more than 6,000 Britons abroad were arrested for a range of offences, including carrying drugs.

“I urge anyone heading overseas this summer to research their destination to research their destination, take out comprehensive travel insurance, and carefully check the small print of their policy,” said Mr Browne.


Dated: 23/07/2012

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