Travel to the Channel Islands

1/08/2013 -- Mary Simpson
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Jersey Zoo, Gerald Durrell, Shell Bay, St Helier, kayaking, water sports, Hauteville House, Victor Hugo, horse drawn carriages, St Brelade’s Bay, windsurfing, war tunnels, hiking, cobbled streets, seafood, St Peter Port, fishing, sailing, Mont Orgueil Castle, cycling, walking, St Anne’s, bird watching, Jersey cream, flowers, beaches …

Medical & Health

The UK axed the reciprocal healthcare agreement with the Channel Islands in 2009 but restored it with Jersey, the largest island, in 2011. 

If you fall sick or have an accident on holiday in any of the other islands - Guernsey, Alderney, Herm and Sark - you’ll need travel insurance to cover medical costs.

Documents needed: The Channel Islands aren’t in the Euro Zone, so the EHIC doesn’t apply. Passport or photographic ID (eg driving license) for free/reduced cost medical treatment on Jersey.

Doctors & Dentists:  All doctors and dentists are in private practice.  You’ll pay the same charges for surgery visits, doctor’s callouts and routine dental treatment as local residents.

Hospital Treatment and Ambulance Costs

Urgent hospital treatment is free in Jersey, but you’ll be charged for some types of medical equipment, supplies and treatments.

Travellers with a chronic pre-existing medical condition (eg heart, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure), can have this monitored free of charge on Jersey.  You'll need to pay for holiday dialysis.

Elsewhere, you must pay for all medical costs including transport to A & E, clinical care, x-rays, blood tests, medication and hospital accommodation. 

Ambulance:  Emergency ambulance transport is free on Jersey.  On Guernsey you could pay up to £260 for an emergency ambulance and up to £90 if booked in advance by a doctor, and Specialist paramedic treatment is extra.

On tiny car-free Sark, there’s a tractor drawn ambulance to take stretcher cases to the harbour for pick-up by the Guernsey St John Ambulance launch.

An emergency air ambulance transfer can cost thousands of pounds.  In a typical year Guernsey transfers around 170 patients and Jersey 300 to the UK. 

Comprehensive travel insurance can cover medical emergency costs like these.

Prescriptions

There’s a standard prescription charge per item.  In Jersey, British NHS prescriptions can only be dispensed after countersigning by a local doctor and are charged as a private prescription.

You can get up to a maximum 28 days’ supply of most medicines, payable to the pharmacy or dispensing doctor (many doctors’ surgeries have chemists attached).

Oxygen Supplies are available without prescription and can be delivered to your home or hotel.