British travellers are being urged to ensure they take a valid European Health Insurance Card (Ehic) when visiting countries in Europe.
This entitles tourists to reduced cost or free healthcare in most European countries, ensuring that anyone who falls ill or is injured can obtain treatment while on holiday.
The advice comes as a new survey reveals that almost 50 per cent of British tourists have fallen ill or been injured on holiday, yet 35 per cent of these have delayed treatment until their return home.
Dr Hilary Jones, GMTV's resident GP, commented: "I'm concerned that so many holidaymakers are needlessly putting their health at risk when a valid Ehic will provide them with access to reduced cost or even free treatment.
"By delaying treatment until you return home, you are potentially allowing a condition to worsen in the meantime."
The Ehic is available for people who live in the UK and are over the age of 16, although there are some restrictions depending on an individual's nationality.
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Travel insurance: News update: 27/03/2009
To renew a card or obtain a new one: