Visitors coming to the Isle of Man for the Manx Grand Prix are being reminded to ensure that they have sufficient travel insurance in place prior to arrival.
The majority of people who require health and care support during their stay - including emergency care - will be covered for most (if not all) costs that are incurred under the reciprocal healthcare agreement* that is in place between the Isle of Man and the UK. Visitors that are coming from countries outside of the UK are unlikely to be covered by the reciprocal healthcare agreement, and therefore are generally only entitled to urgent and emergency services free of charge, in line with the provisions of the NHS (Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2011.
All other services, including medicines, diagnostic tests and hospital admission (following treatment in the emergency department), must be paid for. However, there are limited exceptions, which do not require payment, for example treatment for infectious diseases such as Covid-19. In the unfortunate event that an overseas visitor is admitted to hospital, they are expected to provide insurance details or pay for any medical bills prior to their discharge.
Oliver Radford, Manx Care’s Executive Director of Health Services, commented:
'Firstly, I’d like to reassure visitors to the Island that urgent treatment – for example for someone involved in a road accident or who suffers a medical episode – will always be provided to anyone who needs it. Issues such as whether or not that person has adequate travel insurance in place should never delay or prevent urgent treatment being given. However, please ensure if you’re travelling to the Island that you have your own appropriate level of insurance in place – please don’t overlook this important aspect. The reciprocal healthcare agreement does not cover all eventualities which could be very costly for anyone who has an accident or becomes ill and requires healthcare support or treatment, and even more costly for those without insurance in place at all.
'Please also make sure you’ve packed enough prescription medication and any other forms of medicine, tablets or equipment with you before you set off. We want all visitors to enjoy a safe and healthy Manx Grand Prix without having to worry.'
Manx Care’s signposting guide highlights all of the available health and care options to people visiting the Isle of Man, and points them to the most appropriate service to meet their needs. It is available in foreign languages including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish by visiting the Manx Care homepage or the Signposting page. This includes the Emergency Department at Noble’s Hospital, MEDS (the Manx Emergency Doctor Service, also based at Noble’s), the Minor Injuries and Illnesses Unit at Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital (based in the North), access to GP services, support for mental health and wellbeing, Community Pharmacy provision, and emergency dental or optical care. During practice sessions and race days, First Aid will be also be available at a medical unit located behind the Grandstand Minor Injuries Unit.
UK residents may register as a temporary resident with an Isle of Man based GP if their visit to the Island is for more than 24 hours but less than six months. Visitors from outside the UK may register with a GP practice as a private patient and will be expected to pay for any consultation, treatment or prescription at the time of the visit.
* The reciprocal healthcare agreement is restricted to visits of less than six months’ duration. It does not, in all circumstances, include medical repatriation back to the UK, including for people who live in a country where a reciprocal health agreement is in place.