People visiting for motorsport event this year are being reminded to ensure thy have adequate travel insurance in place.
Manx Care says that in the majority of cases, visitors who require health and care support during their stay – including urgent or emergency care – will be covered for most (if not all) costs they incur under the reciprocal healthcare agreement in place between the Isle of Man and the UK.
However, visitors who travel to the Island from countries outside of the UK are unlikely to be covered by a reciprocal health agreement, and therefore are generally only entitled to urgent and emergency services free of charge, in line with the provisions of the NHS (Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2011.
All other services, including admission into hospital following treatment in the emergency department, medicines and diagnostic tests (with limited exceptions, for example treatment for infectious diseases such as Covid-19) must be paid for. If admitted to hospital on the Island, all overseas visitors will be expected to provide insurance details or pay for any medical bills prior to their discharge.
Manx Care has secured support from TT riders including Peter Hickman, Dean Harrison, Lee Johnston and Davey Todd to share this message, which will soon begin to appear on its social media channels.
Oliver Radford, Manx Care’s director of operations, commented: 'I’d like to reassure visitors to the island that urgent treatment – for example for someone involved in a road accident or who suffers a medical episode – will always be provided to anyone who needs it. Issues such as whether or not that person has adequate travel insurance in place should never delay or prevent urgent treatment being given.
'However, please ensure if you’re travelling to the Island that you have your own appropriate level of insurance in place – please don’t overlook this important aspect. The reciprocal healthcare agreement does not cover all eventualities which could be very costly for anyone who has an accident or becomes ill and requires healthcare support or treatment, and even more costly for those without insurance in place at all.
'Please also make sure you’ve packed enough prescription medication and any other forms of medicine, tablets or equipment with you before you set off. We want all visitors to enjoy a safe and healthy TT without having to worry.'
Manx Care’s signposting guide highlights all of the available health and care options to people visiting the Isle of Man, and points them to the most appropriate service to meet their needs. It is available in foreign languages including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish, and can be accessed here or by visiting www.manxcare.im or www.gov.im/signposting.
This includes the Emergency Department at Noble’s Hospital, MEDS (the Manx Emergency Doctor Service, also based at Noble’s), the Minor Injuries and Illnesses Unit at Ramsey Cottage Hospital (based in the North), access to GP services, support for persistent low mood and anxiety, community pharmacy provision, and emergency dental or optical care. During practice sessions and race days, First Aid will be also be available at a medical unit located behind the Grandstand Minor Injuries Unit.
UK residents may register as a temporary resident with an Isle of Man based GP if their visit to the Island is for more than 24 hours but less than three months. Details of how to do this can be found at https://www.gov.im/categories/health-and-wellbeing/doctors/.
Visitors from outside the UK may register with a GP practice as a private patient and will be expected to pay for any consultation, treatment or prescription at the time of the visit.