By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: We are planning a trip to the United Kingdom later this summer. Do we need to purchase travel health insurance while over there?

A: According to a representative from the British Tourist Authority, Canadians who become ill while in Britain are only eligible for free emergency treatment in the Accident and Emergency departments of National Heath Service (NHS) hospitals.

"If you are admitted to hospital as an in-patient, even from an Accident and Emergency department, or referred to an outpatient clinic, you will be asked to pay, unless you are in receipt of a UK pension. Proof of this pension must be taken with you," says Valerie Schroder of BTA.

For further information please contact the British High Commission based in Ottawa. The web site address is or you can reach them at (613) 237 1303.


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All text & photos 2004.