More Brits hospitalised while abroad, FCO reveals
The annual British Behaviour Abroad report, compiled by the Foreign Office & Commonwealth Office, has revealed staff handled 19,874 assistance cases last year - up three per cent from the previous year.
The report highlights a significant increase in the number of hospitalisations reported to consular staff among British people travelling to popular holiday hotspots including Spain, Greece and Egypt.
In the year to March 31st 2012, on average, 70 British people were hospitalised every week while abroad.
Over 30 per cent of these were in Spain - of which half were on the islands of Majorca and Ibiza which have seen a steep rise in cases over the past two years.
USA and France also recorded significant numbers of cases.
Minister for consular services Jeremy Browne said: “While the prospect of ending up in a foreign hospital may be the last thing on your mind as you head overseas for a summer break, sometimes things do go wrong on holiday and many people deeply regret not taking out comprehensive travel insurance.
Click the above interactive map to view the total number of incidents requiring consular assistance from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office between April 2011 and March 2012, listed by country
“We witness many cases where people have invalidated their policy - perhaps by not declaring a pre-existing medical condition or not checking their policy covers a particular activity, such as hiring a moped.
“Unfortunately they are then surprised that the Foreign Office cannot pay for their bills and flight home.
“I urge anyone heading overseas this summer to research their destination, take out comprehensive travel insurance, and carefully check the small print of their policy.”