Revealed: How minor injuries abroad can carry a BIG price tag if you’re not insured, from


If you’re the sort of traveller who’s blasé about travel insurance, here’s a wake-up call.

A travel insurance company has revealed recent bills holidaymakers have received for minor injuries – and some are eye-watering.

A simple trip to the emergency room (ER) in America for a cut lip could set you back a staggering £1,672 ($2,098), as was the case for one person in California. The price for stitching up the wound? Just £15 ($20).

Another traveller forked out £1,860 ($2,356) while seeking medical advice for a cough and stomach ache in Vietnam.

These are just some examples of claims made to True Traveller, which is urging holidaymakers to think twice before travelling abroad without cover.

A travel insurance company has revealed recent bills holidaymakers have received for minor injuries – and some are eye-watering. Seeking medical advice in Vietnam for a cough and stomach ache could mean forking out £1,860 for the privilege, according to claims data from True Traveller

A travel insurance company has revealed recent bills holidaymakers have received for minor injuries – and some are eye-watering. Seeking medical advice in Vietnam for a cough and stomach ache could mean forking out £1,860 for the privilege, according to claims data from True Traveller

Even the wait for treatment can be pricey. 

In Jasper Alberta, Canada, one person was charged £32 ($40) per hour as a waiting fee at the ER where they went seeking treatment for a cut finger.

After waiting nine hours to see a doctor, their total waiting fee was £288 ($364) and their overall medical bill exceeded £1,240 ($1,570).

Also in Canada, another holidaymaker was charged a £1,435 ($1,800) ER fee only to be diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI), which required antibiotics costing just £8.80 ($11).

And a third paid £702 ($888) for stitches to a cut eyelid.

Another expensive treatment in Canada is having an X-ray, according to the data, which revealed that one traveller paid £860 ($1,088) for an X-ray and setting of a broken finger.

Meanwhile in New Zealand, another person was charged £720 ($910) for detailed blood tests that ‘had nothing to do with her diagnosis’, according to True Traveller.

The patient had been advised to get tested for conditions including HIV and syphilis, only to be told in the end that she had a common bacterial infection.

A breakdown of her final medical bill revealed that the unrelated tests accounted for almost two thirds of her total treatment, True Traveller explained. 

A trip to the ER for a cut finger could cost you  more than £1,240 ($1,570), as was the case for one person in Canada (stock image)

A trip to the ER for a cut finger could cost you  more than £1,240 ($1,570), as was the case for one person in Canada (stock image)

Another painful bill was handed to a jetsetter in Australia, who was charged £1,858 ($2,373) for a single tooth extraction.

And in Thailand, one person was charged £1,195 ($1,500) to stay in hospital for the night after seeking medical treatment for a case of diarrhoea.

Tim Riley, managing director at True Traveller, said that the ‘surprisingly’ high prices are partly due to the way health systems differ from country to country.

‘Many people will be surprised to find out that such seemingly minor injuries can cost a lot if they happen while abroad,’ he said.

‘This is particularly true in the U.S and Canada because their system is different.

‘For example, an emergency room is for major accidents and life-threatening situations. That means that an ear infection treated in an ER may cost you £796 ($1,000) or more, but £95 ($120) if you go to a walk-in clinic.

‘Walk-in clinics are not common in the UK, but patients in the U.S or Canada use walk-in clinics like you would use your GP at home.

‘It’s just another reminder to make sure you take out adequate travel insurance before your trip, so that the medical part covers you for incidents like these.’ 

THE EYE-WATERING COST OF MEDICAL TREATMENT ABROAD 

Medical examinations for stomach pains and a cough in Vietnam: £1,860 ($2,356)

X-ray and setting of broken finger in Canada: £860 ($1,088)

Tooth extraction, Australia: £1,858 ($2,373)

Stitches for a cut eyelid, Canada: £702 ($888)

An overnight hospital stay fee, Thailand: £1,195 ($1,500)

Blood tests, New Zealand: £720 ($910)

Antibiotics for a UTI followed by a trip to the emergency room, Canada: £1,435 ($1,800)

Waiting to see a doctor for a cut finger in Jasper Alberta, Canada: £32 ($40) per hour 

Emergency room fee for a cut lip, California: £1,672 ($2,098)

Source: True Traveller

 



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