Overseas medical treatment can cost more than the average UK house

18 August 2016

The cost of some overseas medical treatments can be more than the price of the average UK house, figures show.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said it can cost over £500,000 for treating a multiple fracture of the leg and artery tear in the US with an air ambulance back to the UK. This compares to the average UK house price of £211,000.

Although the average travel insurance claim is just over £700, emergency medical and repatriation costs when overseas can be much higher. An insurer recently paid a medical bill of £322,000 for treating a swollen blood vessel in the brain in the US, while treatment for an abscess in the abdomen resulted in medical costs of £101,000.

The cost of treating a holidaymaker who suffered a heart attack on a Caribbean cruise and needed an air ambulance back to the UK came to £92,000.

According to Bupa Global’s annual travel insurance claims data, the top five most expensive countries to receive medical treatment are the US, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Canada and France.

The top five most expensive accidents/illnesses are decompression sickness, requiring hyperbaric therapy treatment, ski accident, snowmobile accident, heart attack and cerebral hemorrhage.

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