Isle of Man forms reciprocal free healthcare agreement with Guernsey

Credit: ITV Channel

A temporary health agreement has been formed between the Isle of Man and Guernsey allowing free emergency hospital treatment for Manx residents using the air bridge.

All health and medical care provided in Guernsey to overseas visitors is currently charged for.

Following the agreement, no charge will be levied to Isle of Man residents for emergency hospital treatment and subsequent essential treatment following Emergency Department attendance.

Visitors from Guernsey already receive free emergency treatment in the Isle of Man, and this will be extended to cover subsequent hospital treatment making it the same for both islands.

The new agreement will also cover air ambulance transfers from both islands to the United Kingdom, if specialist off-island care is required.

This is a bespoke agreement which takes into account differences in our health systems, and officers have worked in a spirit of positive cooperation to achieve this in a short time period. It’s a welcome, progressive step for the mutual benefit of our people.’

David Ashford MHK, Isle of Man Minister for Health and Social Care

While travellers are encouraged to secure their own travel insurance to cover unforeseen eventualities such as the need for emergency healthcare, we are aware that this is not an option for everyone. This arrangement provides essential medical cover for travellers to both jurisdictions whilst the air bridge is in place.

Deputy Heidi Soulsby, President of Guernsey’s Committee for Health and Social Care

Travel and medical insurance will still be required for repatriation, ambulance services, GP appointments and dental services, which remain chargeable if they are required by an individual.

The air bridge has allowed unrestricted travel between the Isle of Man and Guernsey, with no need to self-isolate on the outward or return journey.