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Post Office partner with Air Doctor as travel health anxiety grows

Two-thirds say that going away is the highlight of the year with seven in 10 reporting it helped them to unwind.

Yet in the desire to jet off on a budget, almost one in four are tempted to go without travel insurance this year.

The revelation comes despite a new Post Office study finding that 55% of the population worry that they or a family member will need medical attention whilst abroad this summer.

The number one cause of concern was found to be financial – with 71% worrying about getting landed with a huge medical bill – followed by concerns about missing the holiday (60%).

Finding a decent doctor (60%) and getting the right medication (58%) were also significant worries for Brits looking to enjoy a break abroad, with one in six (16%) Brits having required non-emergency medical attention on previous trips.

An upset tummy or food poising topped the list of illnesses Brits have experienced abroad – with one in three having suffered toilet trouble (31%).

This was followed by insect bites (20%), fever (19%), sunburn or rash (18%), minor falls (16%), allergic reactions (12%), earache (12%), heat exposure (11%) and dental issues (10%).

One in eight (13%) found it difficult to get the help they needed to sort their illness – the first port of call for Brits non-medical emergencies was most likely to be reception staff and holiday reps rather than a medical professional.  

The revelations come as Post Office announces its new partnership with Air Doctor who are available 24/7 to facilitate the process of locating a trusted doctor, scheduling an appointment within minutes ensuring a medical professional is their first port of call.

Air Doctor was created after cofounder Yam Derfler fell ill whilst on a trip to South America in 2014 and suffered poor treatment and long hospital hours.

The app provides access to a network of 20,000 doctors in 75 countries and allows users to view information like a doctor’s professional background, language spoken and other patient reviews.

With as many as one in 13 (7%) having not claimed travel insurance previously as they couldn’t face the paperwork involved – the Air Doctor app is set up to help avoid anxieties around out-of-pocket expenses or lengthy claims processes.

It comes as three in four (76%) say they would experience greater reassurance and enjoyment of their holidays if they had reliable access to a doctor abroad – with one in eight (13%) saying it could allow them to be more adventurous.

It also emerged that one in four Brits (28%) plan to take more holidays than last year with 70% seeing it as an essential part of their year despite the cost-of-living crisis.

Paul Paddock, Head of Travel Insurance and Protection at the Post Office said “It is worrying that so many are willing to go without travel insurance despite the significant concern about falling ill abroad. Having easy access to medical support abroad helps make sure minor health issues can be dealt with easily so people can get on with their holiday.

“This is why we have partnered with AirDoctor to avoid any unnecessary expenses and put Brits in touch with a reputable doctor straight away to minimise the chances of a ruined holiday – to ensure a relaxing, fun getaway that they deserve. This service will be standard across all Post Office single trip, annual multi-trip and backpacker travel insurance policies, and across all levels of cover – Economy, Standard and Premier bought online, over the phone or in-branch from 3rd July 2023”.


  • Upset tummy/food poisoning
  • Insect bites
  • Fever
  • Sun burn/rash
  • Minor trips/scrapes/falls

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