Thailand No 4 for Brits in trouble
PHUKET: Thailand ranks fourth in the world in terms of likelihood of British nationals requiring consular assistance.
Tuesday 31 July 2012, 11:02AM
The British Behaviour Abroad Report 2012 released by the UK government this month, looks at trends in 20 countries based on consular assistance cases.
The report cited 978 consular assistance cases in Thailand from April 1 2011 to 31 March this year, an increase of 1.14 per cent. During the same period, 894,224 British visited or resided in Thailand.
Thailand ranked number four in the volume of cases, after Spain, USA and France.
Calculated proportionally, British citizens in Thailand (978 cases, or 11 in 10,000) are the second most likely to require assistance after Philippines (240 cases, or 20 in 10,000).
In terms of hospitalisation, British citizens are most likely to be hospitalised in Greece (30 in 10,000) followed by Thailand (24 in 10,000) and the Philippines (21 in 10,000).
The British Ambassador to Thailand, Asif Ahmad, said in an embassy statement: “Thailand rightly remains an attractive tourist destination and a significant number of people have chosen to become long-term residents.
“Good planning is the best way to avoid hazards and insurance for travel and health is essential. Medical bills can run to thousands of pounds and the British tax payer cannot meet the uninsured costs of fellow citizens who have chosen to venture abroad.
“Make sure you read the small print – riding a motorbike or other activities could invalidate the insurance policy… We do recommend travellers check health requirements to ensure they’ve had all the necessary vaccinations.”
The statement noted that 296 Britons died in Thailand over the past year. About 75 per cent were residents, many retirees in Thailand. Natural causes were the biggest killer, followed by traffic accidents.
“I have seen the sadness and anguish of relatives after incidents which, if thought through, were entirely avoidable,” Mr Ahmad said. “Like the majority of visitors and residents in Thailand, I hope everyone stays safe and enjoys their time in the country.”
The British Behaviour Abroad Report 2012 can be seen here.