Thursday, February 29, 2024
Home Vacation NHS waiting list patients miss out on holidays – due to expensive travel insurance costs

NHS waiting list patients miss out on holidays – due to expensive travel insurance costs

by Staff

But one in five plan to travel this year without insurance – while more than a tenth will fork out up to £1,000 extra on specialist cover, to ensure they are protected

One in five Brits on NHS waiting lists will go on holiday abroad this year without correct travel insurance(SWNS)

Many NHS waiting list patients are missing out on holidays abroad – as they are struggling to be able to access, or afford, appropriate specialist travel insurance cover for their condition, research has found.

Those with blood pressure or heart issues find it the most difficult to find insurance for overseas travel (12%) – followed by those suffering from musculoskeletal problems such as back, neck, or shoulder pain, hip or knee pain, or arthritis (11%).

But almost all adults (95%) who are currently on a waiting list to be seen by the NHS, or have been in the last three years, have refused to miss out on their trips away. As such, 15% of these have forked out as much as £1,000 extra to make sure they are covered for their travel.

And a survey of 2,034 adults found that a fifth of those waiting for an appointment intend to go ahead with their holidays this year with no travel insurance – rising to a quarter of the 1.6 million people who are waiting to receive a diagnosis.

On top of this, almost 6.5 million patients are currently waiting for consultant-led treatment – with many unable to take out insurance policies due to high costs.

Many insurers keep their premiums low by not covering existing medical conditions, meaning patients on waiting lists with potentially serious conditions will need to take out specialist cover.

But one in 20 currently waiting to be seen by the NHS have found accessing specialist travel insurance so difficult, or so expensive, that they haven’t holidayed abroad because of it.

But 15% will fork out up to £1,000 extra for their holiday, to make sure they are covered by specialist insurance(Peter Dazeley/Getty Images)

The research, commissioned by Wellsoon from Practice Plus Group, found adults with hernias (26%) are the most likely to holiday without the correct cover, followed by those with cancer (24%).

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