Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern TD, gives strong advice to Irish citizens travelling abroad to take out travel insurance
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern TD, today gave the following strong advice to Irish citizens planning to travel abroad in 2007:
“Most Irish citizens who travel abroad do so without serious difficulty. However, as Minister for Foreign Affairs, I have unfortunately been very aware of some holidays abroad having been ruined and families suffering terrible tragedy and trauma. These situations can be greatly exacerbated if citizens travel abroad without adequate insurance and, as a result, incur large medical/repatriation expenses. This places a huge burden on families who are already dealing with a very traumatic situation.
I would urge in the strongest terms all our citizens to take out comprehensive medical/travel insurance before travelling abroad. The policy should cover medical treatment, accidents and unexpected losses such as cancelled flights, or stolen cash, cards, passports or luggage. Enough cover should be included to allow for the extra cost of travelling home in an emergency (this, on occasion, might require an air ambulance). If a person already has private medical cover, they should check with the insurer to confirm they are covered for foreign travel and, if required, how to activate this cover.
In addition, all possible precautions should be taken in advance of travel, including:
- contact details should be given to a family member;
- the European Health Insurance Card should be acquired; this entitles a person to emergency medical care on the same basis as a national of the country concerned if visiting another EU state. This card is available from local Health Boards or can be applied for online (www.ehic.ie ). The EHIC replaces the Form E111, which is no longer valid;
- have the contact details of the nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate to the holiday destination (these details can be found on www.dfa.ie )”.
5 January 2007