While a trip to the doctor or hospital during your holiday at Club Las Calas in Lanzarote, is highly unlikely, make sure you’ve packed your European Health Insurance Card (otherwise known as the EHIC) with you, just in case.
Yet, despite the benefits of the EHIC, there still seems to be confusion among British holidaymakers about the European Health Insurance Card and what it offers.
Previously known as the E111, the EHIC entitles Brits to any state-provided medical treatment in public hospitals and health centres throughout the EU that may be necessary during their holiday.
In Lanzarote, the treatment provided is on the same terms as Spanish nationals and includes emergency care, routine or specialist treatments, maternity care and any pre-existing medical conditions. So it is a must-have for holidays at Club Las Calas.
Applying for your EHIC before you travel is essential and easy. It’s also free of charge; so beware of any websites that try to charge you an application fee. That’s probably a scam.
And don’t forget to check the expiry date on your current EHIC, as you’ll need a valid card to receive the treatment. Each EHIC is valid for five years.
You can apply or renew online at www.nhs.uk/ehic or call NHS Business Services Authority on +44 300 330 1350.
Travel insurance is needed too
It is really important to remember that the EHIC doesn’t replace traditional medical and travel insurance – it is in addition to your insurance and it’s your right as a European to receive public health care in the EU countries you visit.
However, you’ll need to produce your EHIC cards before any treatment begins together with your passport, so make sure you carry it with you at all times. You can’t just turn up and expect to receive care like we do here in the UK.
If you don’t have it with you or you’ve lost it, you can call the Department of Health Overseas Healthcare Team (+44 191 218 1999) to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate. It’s a good idea to save this number in your phone.
As an EHIC holder, you are under no obligation to provide travel insurance as payment for necessary treatment in a public healthcare facility – and you can insist that your EHIC is accepted.
If you’re asked to sign a form or disclaimer, check you’re not forfeiting the right to be treated under the EHIC scheme. The healthcare team at the British Consulate can provide assistance, especially if there are no English-speakers on the hospital staff.
What to do in an emergency
Your EHIC can only be used at public hospitals and health centres. Private hospitals, such as Hospiten, in nearby Prednisone buy online, won’t accept the EHIC card and will ask you to pay for treatment or provide evidence of adequate insurance.
If there is an emergency while you’re away, dial 112 – this number is valid within the EEA and is free of charge. Always request a public ambulance to take you to the nearest hospital – they should accept your EHIC immediately.
The Club Las Calas team is on hand during your holiday to provide information and assistance about public healthcare so if you have any questions, just pop to reception during your stay.
Rachel from Club Las Calas says:
The EHIC card is vital as guests can then access the local medical facilities. Tracy from the resort team will accompany our guests to the doctors to help with translation, even though the hospital in Arrecife has an excellent customer care team that will also translate.
Private doctors on Lanzarote are very expensive and sometimes this payment has to be made up front – not all will claim directly from your travel insurance provider. The refund payments can also take a long time to receive so having access to the local medical facilities with the EHIC is a great service.
But don’t forget private travel insurance is also very important. If a guest becomes seriously ill here and can’t travel home on schedule then private travel insurance covers not only their care but for one person to stay with them, deals with repatriation back home, flights, medical, accommodation and any assistance needed.
Also in the worst cases, the insurance covers the organisation of repatriation which can get very complicated.
Posted on June 7, 2016.
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