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General healthcare standards when travelling

No one wants to think about falling ill on holiday, however, the quality of healthcare is different in every country. So it may be worth researching a country more before choosing it for your trip abroad.

If you take out travel insurance and fall ill while on holiday, the medical emergency assistance company will do everything they can to make sure you get the treatment you need. But the quality of care – whether state-run or private – can only ever be as good as the level of medical care within the country you’re visiting.

Where standards are lower than generally found in the UK, this can make receiving treatment abroad even more worrying and stressful for yourself and your loved ones.

If you’re particularly vulnerable to health problems and are travelling alone, it could be more important to consider the standards of healthcare when picking a holiday destination. Research your destination as much as you can before you travel…

The FCO website provides useful, country-specific advice on general healthcare standards, as well as whether it is safe to travel to a specific country at all. The Travel Health Pro and NHS Fit To Travel websites are other useful sources of information.

To help you, AllClear has highlighted five top tips on what to research when picking a holiday destination:

  1. What is the availability and affordability of private healthcare? And does the country offer a free healthcare system?
  2. Is English widely spoken in hospitals?
  3. Are there any specific health risks or diseases associated with a country that you should be aware of? For example, is water quality highlighted as an issue or have there been any recent disease outbreaks, as in South America with the Zika virus.
  4. What vaccinations are required?
  5. Is there good availability of standard prescriptions?

There are certain countries, even within Europe,  where nursing care is not provided and instead it’s the responsibility of family and friends to provide the care that nurses normally would. There are also instances where upfront payment is required for even basic equipment such as bedpans. This can be a difficult and upsetting time, and being prepared can make a significant difference.

While we don’t want you to feel restricted in choosing a destination, we think this may be an area that’s overlooked by many travellers. Understanding which countries might pose a greater risk, especially for the vulnerable, could be extremely valuable if the worst should happen.

Travel Insurance to cover your medical conditions

No matter the general standard of healthcare of the country your wish to travel to, Travel Insurance is always important. In fact, Travel Insurance is essential if you have a pre-exsiting medical condition. Find out how AllClear can help protect you and your holiday.

Benefits of AllClear Cover

Gold Gold Plus Platinum
Emergency medical expenses and Repatriation costs Up to £10m Up to £15m Unlimited
Cancellation* and Curtailment Up to £2k Up to £15k Up to £25k
Travel Delay Up to £300 Up to £1,500 Up to £1,500
Recuperation stay
Personal Belongings Up to £2k Up to £2.5k Up to £3k
Personal liability Up to £2m Up to £2m Up to £2m
Legal protection cover Up to £50k Up to £50k Up to £100k
* If you buy a policy which includes cancellation cover
All these figures are per person and per trip

Simple 3 step quote process

1. Call us or click a quote button on our site

Once you are ready to start the quote process, the first step is to provide your personal details and information about your holiday plans.

2. Complete our simple medical screening process

You then declare the medical conditions for you (and any other travellers) and answer the specifically designed medical questions.

3. Get your quotes

You will then get your quotes and can either proceed to buy, or save your quote, at this stage.

Author notes

Written by Lydia Crispin, MA Content Creator at AllClear
Edited by Letitia Smith, M.Sc. Content Manager at AllClear

Written by: Lydia Crispin | Travel Insurance Expert
Last Updated: 21 September 2023


† Based on Trustpilot reviews of all companies in the Travel Insurance Company category that have over 70,000 reviews as of January 2024. AllClear Gold Plus achieved a Which? Best Buy.