When planning your next trip abroad, the last thing you want to imagine is spending days lying in a hospital bed in an unfamiliar part of the world. But although it’s an unsettling thought, it’s one you need to consider because your illness or injury might be followed by an eye-watering bill if you’re not properly covered for your healthcare.
Just how large that bill is varies dramatically from country to country, which is why the National Accident Helpline (NAHL) conducted research to determine which nation is the world’s most expensive for treating a broken leg. Here’s what it found…
And the winner is…
The USA, by a long way. Here, the cost of treating a broken leg is a whopping £25,550. By comparison, the same treatment in the UK only amounts to £3,363, while costs in the UAE (£2,094) and Argentina (£2,378) are less than 10 percent that of the US, with India being only slightly more at £2,555.
It’s worth noting that costs are often partially or fully covered by universal healthcare systems. But that might not help those travelling from abroad, and it certainly doesn’t help those in the United States, where there is no universal healthcare system.
How can you keep yourself safe?
The first step is to check if the UK has healthcare agreements with the countries you’re planning to visit, and whether these cover all eventualities.
If the answer’s no to either of those, then you’ll need to ensure that your travel insurance covers medical expenses for injury, illness and accidents, whether caused by you or not.
In some countries the quality of healthcare varies from one hospital to the next. Therefore, it’s important to determine where the reputable ones are, and ensure you get to one of these should you become injured or ill. You certainly don’t want to become the victim of poor hospital care and need to contact the medical negligence solicitors.
Of course, the plan is always to not end up in hospital in the first place, so you should always know before you go the areas of town that are safe to walk, whether tap water is drinkable, whether malaria’s common etc, and plan accordingly.
In all probability, you won’t need to use the medical facilities in the country you’re visiting. But if the NAHL statistics tell us anything, it’s that being prepared is vital, or you might be paying off debts long after your fibula has healed.