Friday 26 December 2014

Card will keep holidaymakers safe

Published 08/07/2014 | 02:30

European Health Insurance Card promotion

IRISH people planning holidays to Europe this summer are reminded to apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in case of a medical emergency.

The EHIC, which should always be provided free of charge, confirms that a person is entitled to receive medical treatment that becomes necessary on a temporary stay abroad from the host country's public healthcare system, on the same terms and at the same cost as nationals of that country.

Almost 200m Europeans already have the card, according to the latest figures available for 2013. This represents more than half of the insured population in the EU. The number of EHIC holders is steadily increasing, with 8m more citizens carrying it in 2013 compared to the previous year, an increase of four per cent.

In Ireland, you can apply for an EHIC by applying to your local Health Office, details of which can be found on the HSE website, www.HSE.ie or by calling the Infoline on 1850 24 1850 or 041 6850300

László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, commented: "Just as many people are planning to leave on their summer holidays, it is encouraging to see that more and more people have a European Health Insurance Card.

"This allows them to get necessary treatment when travelling within the European Union, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland.

"The increasing number of citizens obtaining the card demonstrates the confidence in the EHIC system and the recognition of the protection it provides."

In order to increase awareness of the EHIC, the European Commission is launching a competition for video storyboard proposals.

The winner's concept will be developed and produced into a video clip, which will be used to further promote the EHIC. The competition is open until August 17.

The EHIC application gives information about the card, emergency phone numbers, treatments that are covered and costs, how to claim reimbursement and who to contact in case you have lost your card.

The app covers 28 EU countries and Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

It is available in 25 languages, with the option to switch from one language to another. However, the app does not replace the EHIC.

For more details on the competition, see the european commission website:

http://ec.europa.eu/ireland/about_us/ index_en.htm

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