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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.