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Independents' Day

GPs not responsible for recommending travel insurance policies post-Brexit, says BMA

The BMA has criticised the Government for suggesting patients speak to their GP about travel insurance when visiting Europe after Brexit.

In an updated document on advice on visiting the EU after Brexit, the Department of Health and Social Care said patients with existing conditions should speak to their GP about how to get the right cover. 

The BMA has said this advice is 'not right' when GPs are already facing significant workload pressures. 

The DHSC document said: ‘You must tell your insurance company about any pre-existing health conditions you have. Speak to your GP and insurer about how to get the right cover, and how this affects your travel.

'Make plans for how to manage your condition when you are abroad. Ask your doctor in the UK for advice before you travel.'

However, BMA GP Committee executive team workload lead, Dr Farah Jameel, said: ‘The BMA has been clear of the risk that Brexit will have on the NHS, staff and patients – and this is another example of poor planning impacting the health of the nation.

‘While GPs will advise their patients around how to look after themselves while they are abroad, it is not their responsibility to recommend whether travel insurance policies are suitable or not. This discussion needs to take place directly between the patient and their insurer.’

She added: ‘It’s not right, when they have significant workload pressures already, that GPs are forced to bear the brunt of Brexit policy, and we will be taking this up with the Government directly.'

It follows concerns voiced by the BMA this week that a no-deal Brexit will cause ‘catastrophic’ consequences for the UK.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Not our Job one of insurance/financial planning.Need to go and pay for advice like they pay for their holidays.FFS HMG.
    Look up what Johnson is slang for appropiate?

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  • As well as Counsellors, Dieticians, Marriage Counsellors, Social Workers and Mortgage advisors we are expected to be travel agents now?

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  • Seriously, WTAF?!

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  • No.

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  • GP=universal problem solver. I know we are good. BUT we are not interested in becoming insurance salesmen, doing universal parenting, becoming teachers, anti-terrorist officers or immigration officers. How about just letting us treat diseases that we have gone into medicine for.

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  • no free treatmen in eu--apart from UK!

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  • But GPs are ideally placed to offer this advice....

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  • i advise travel clinics or not going, it all adds to global warning and every little bit helps. they don't seem to come back after that. After a recent survey suggested british travellers were the third most disliked in the world perhaps brexit is actually a good thing. just saying.

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