Guernsey travellers warned to check health insurance

Andrew Ozanne Andrew Ozanne found it difficult to get insurance for visits to the UK

Related Stories

The absence of a new reciprocal health agreement between Guernsey and the UK has prompted one islander to warn travellers about their insurance.

Andrew Ozanne was denied cover for a trip to the UK because of a pre-existing medical condition.

He warned others in the same position: "Don't travel. You're at risk. It is a serious risk and it is a serious cost."

A previous reciprocal health agreement was terminated by the UK in 2009. Negotiations on a new one are ongoing.

Guernsey's Health minister has said he does not know when, or if, the island will get a new agreement.

Deputy Hunter Adam had hoped to have a deal in place by the end of last year, but talks have been delayed.

A complicating factor has been that ambulance call-outs, GP visits and accident and emergency treatment are not provided free-of-charge to Guernsey residents.

Mr Ozanne, who has diabetes, said his efforts to travel safely had been thwarted by the lack of a new deal.

He said: "I've spoken to my insurers and they do try hard but they can't offer insurance to cover my pre-existing condition.

"I don't anticipate being ill but there's always that risk," he said.

Mr Ozanne said he believed the absence of a new agreement was also causing problems for people travelling the other way.

"I think there's probably a lot of people who'd love to come to Guernsey, who don't once they find out that they could face a very large bill."

Guernsey's Health and Social Services Department has estimated that waiving charges for call-outs, GP visits and A&E for UK visitors, while continuing to charge local residents, would discriminate against islanders and cost the Bailiwick between £500,000 and £1m a year.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Guernsey

Weather

Guernsey Airport

17 °C 15 °C

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • MoviesWhat to watch

    BBC Culture picks eight top movies coming out in September

Programmes

  • Volcanic eruptionThe Travel Show Watch

    Uncovering the secrets of the Icelandic island buried by a volcanic eruption

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.