A CRUISE spans hundreds of miles out into the middle of an ocean so what would happen if something went wrong, would you be protected in a medical emergency. A new report from Allianz Global Assistance may suggest otherwise.
Bags packed, passport ready and insurance documents in hand, sorting out travel cover before you depart is an essential part of travelling.
Knowing you’re covered if something were to go wrong whilst overseas, takes away the stress and potential risk of expensive medical bills.
However, according to a recent survey carried out by Co-op, a third of UK Holidaymakers have admitted they struggle to find insurance that will cover their trip.
Unlike beach and resort holidays where a hospital is normally just a car journey away, passengers on a cruise don’t have this reassurance of a hospital in close proximity.
Cruise passengers more often than not rely on the onboard medical assistance.
John Roberts, a Cruise Critic contributor, explained: “Because cruise ships are essentially floating cities, major lines contain infirmaries with staff available 24 hours a day to care for passengers. These facilities are typically equipped to treat only minor nonemergency conditions.”
Although according to Allianz Global Assistance, cruise passengers on US ships don’t believe that their cruise can handle a serious medical emergency.
In fact, the report went on to outline that 55.5 per cent of travellers don’t have confidence in the onboard facilities.
The survey, which was carried out by Allianz Global Assistance in America, highlighted that there was a considerable decrease in passengers trust in cruise-lines being able to handle their medical emergency.
It was revelaed there was a 15 per cent decrease in the belief that serious medical conditions could be handled onboard.
Daniel Durazo, Director of Communications for Allianz Global Assistance USA commented: “Our wave season survey shows that cruisers have become more sophisticated and understand that most ships will disembark seriously ill or injured passengers in the closest port, regardless of whether the closest medical facilities can provide an appropriate level of care.
Smart cruisers are covering themselves with travel insurance in the event that they must be medically evacuated to a facility that is properly equipped to treat them.”
According to Roberts, the majority of cruise ships, especially the larger boats, all have medical facilities and that these are located on the lower deck of a ship.
Although the medical centre has opening hours, there will always be a medical professional on call 24-hours a day.
In a statement released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) all ships must adhere to the revised 2005 International Health Regulations.
The report states: “There are global standards regarding ship and port sanitation and disease surveillance, as well as response to infectious diseases.”….
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