The island’s health chiefs are warning people to take out travel insurance for all trips abroad.
A Department of Health spokesman said: ‘The costs of falling ill or being injured abroad can be expensive, even for emergency healthcare services which many travellers might assume are free of charge. For example, visitors may have to pay the same charges as local residents, such as emergency ambulance and paramedic charges; consultation, diagnostic and investigation fees; all or part of the costs of drugs; the costs of hospital food and drink. There might also be charges for seeing a GP.
‘The only exception is travelling to the UK, as the Isle of Man Department of Health has agreed a Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement with the UK Department of Health, but that does not, and never has, included medical repatriation.
‘Therefore, if an Isle of Man resident becomes sick or injured while travelling abroad, whether in the UK or elsewhere, neither the Isle of Man Government nor the government of the country they are visiting will be responsible for medical repatriation. The department strongly recommends that all residents who travel from the Isle of Man should make sure that they have appropriate and adequate travel insurance, to include the cost of repatriation to the Isle of Man, which if an air ambulance and medical team is required can approach £20,000 from the UK, and considerably more from other countries.’