Emergency Health Cards: European Economic Area

Department of Health written question – answered on 23rd June 2015.

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Photo of Margaret Ferrier Margaret Ferrier Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he has taken to raise awareness among people travelling within European Economic Area countries in order to ensure all such travellers hold an EHIC card.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Minister of State, Department of Health

The Department has taken a series of ongoing steps to raise awareness among travellers in the European Economic Area (EEA) about the importance of carrying with them both a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and a valid travel insurance policy to cover private medical care or other additional costs.

The Department works closely with the Foreign Office to ensure key messages get onto social media platforms targeting customers in the United Kingdom looking to travel.

In conjunction with the Foreign Office, campaigns have also been carried out within Europe to target holiday makers already abroad, especially Spain where approximately 12 million British nationals visit each year.

Videos to raise awareness on the EHIC have been created by the Department and the European Commission and distributed on websites such as the Post Office, gov.uk and YouTube.

In addition, we have and will again encourage students coming from EEA countries for the new academic year to bring their EHIC with them, and use it when accessing NHS health care.

There is also extensive information on the NHS Choices website about the EHIC scheme.

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