DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
News Release issued by COI News Distribution Service. 19 March 2009
visiting the Channel Islands must ensure they have adequate travel
insurance from 1 April. The recommendation comes from the
Department of Health as the healthcare arrangements for UK
visitors to the Islands are due to change.
The current agreement, which allowed UK travellers to get a
limited number of medical treatments in the Channel Islands free
of charge, will end on March 31. Anyone travelling to the Islands,
which include Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Sark and Herm, will be
required to pay for medical treatment should they become ill or
injured there after this date. Visitors should therefore take out
adequate insurance before they travel.
Visitors from the Channel Islands to the UK will also now be
liable for charges for medical treatment when visiting the UK, so
they should also have health insurance cover.
If you have any questions relating to the end of the reciprocal
health agreement with the Channel Islands, information on charges
can be found by telephoning the Department of Health Customer
Service Centre on 0207 210 4850 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
1. The Department of Health has always recommended that UK
residents travelling to the Channel Islands take out travel
insurance as even with the agreement in place, UK tourists have
always been charged for a number of healthcare services including
prescribed medicines, A&E hospital treatment, emergency dental
treatment, GP and other medical care, ambulance travel (in
Guernsey/ Alderney) and for GP treatment, dental care and
prescribed medicines (in Jersey) and all medical treatment in Sark.
2. The agreement between the UK and the Channel Islands has been
in place since 1 May 1976.
3. The Channel Islands were given formal notice of the end of the
agreement in December 2008. The Department of Health initially
advised them in May 2008.
4. The Channel Islands are Crown Dependencies which are
internally self-governing and which have their own health services
separate from the NHS.
5. The Ministry of Justice manage the relationship between the UK
and the UK Crown Dependencies.
6. Examples of what end of bilateral healthcare agreement with
the Channel Islands means for UK travellers:
Stan became ill on holiday in Guernsey
before 31 March 2009. He had to pay to see a GP and to get
Accident and Emergency hospital treatment. He would have got free
in-patient hospital treatment. After 31 March, the only
difference is that his insurance would have to cover all the costs.
Stan became ill on holiday in Jersey before 31 March
2009. He had to pay to see a GP or to get prescribed medicine. He
would have got free in-patient and outpatient treatment and free
ambulance travel. After 31 March, the only difference is that his
insurance would have had to cover all the costs.