Cost for treating a common cold abroad? Over £230

International travel insurance and assistance specialist, Mondial Assistance UK, is putting the spotlight on the soaring cost of simple medical treatments abroad. Something as common as ear pain from swimming could cost as much as £285, whilst a bite or a sting from a sea creature could be another £260. In turn, Mondial Assistance is urging holidaymakers to pay greater customer attention to policy excesses and breadth of cover, ensuring that adequate financial protection against the rising cost of medical assistance is included.

Ben Smart, Corporate, Travel and Health Director at Mondial Assistance UK explains, “The cost of prescriptions and minor medical treatments can cost a lot more abroad than in the UK, giving travellers a nasty surprise when they get the bill. Illnesses or problems which can ordinarily be treated with over the counter medication for under £10 in the UK, may require a doctor’s appointment and a costly prescription in another country.

Research from Mondial Assistance shows that even the simplest problems can see medical attention run into hundreds of pounds, such as conjunctivitis costing over £180, on average, with a headache costing a staggering £580 to treat.

Mondial Assistance is calling upon people planning a trip abroad, whether business or pleasure, to read the terms and conditions of the travel policy they intend to purchase before they part with their cash. What may appear to be a bargain price purchase may contain some unwelcome surprises, such as a high policy excess running in to hundreds of pounds, warns Mondial.

“People who take mild medications with them on holiday for pre-existing medical conditions such as migraines or hay fever should be extra careful. If they forget to pack them it could be a very costly mistake as medical costs incurred for pre-existing conditions are rarely covered by travel insurers,” concludes Ben Smart. “For example, asthma sufferers should ensure they pack a duplicate prescription and keep it separately in case the original is lost or mislaid. A replacement prescription could cost as much as £950.”