The University Occupational Health Service (UOHS) runs a Travel Clinic which provides travel advice, immunisations, and anti-malarial prophylaxis to University staff and specified non-employee eligible groups, travelling on University business. If health advice, immunisations or other prophylaxis might be required for the country where the employee will be travelling, the employee should be referred to the Travel Clinic in advance. The UOHS website provides useful advice on travel and travel tips on matters such as food and water hygiene, and insect bites.
Pre-existing medical conditions (including disability and other health matters)
Members of staff with a disability or any other pre-existing medical condition that could be potentially worsened by the proposed overseas travel/working should declare this to their line-manager (or departmental administrator). It is important that such considerations form part of the risk assessment process, and so where possible, suitable arrangements can be identified. In such cases departments are advised to contact the Safety Office and/or the UOHS for further advice. Any feasible reasonable adjustments for disability should be arranged well in advance of travel. The University’s Staff Disability Advisor may be contacted for further advice. There may also be funding available through the Access to Work scheme for a support worker, if an individual is unable to travel without assistance, although this cannot be guaranteed.
Some countries restrict the entry of people with certain medical conditions, such as previous or current mental health issues, HIV or hepatitis, and may be required to provide additional medical information such as a recent blood test before entry can be granted. Employees can check the relevant entry requirements of their specific country of travel on the government’s website.
If an employee has any of the medical conditions that may prevent them from gaining entry into the country of travel they will need to disclose their inability to travel to that country to their department as early in the process as possible. They can discuss this in confidence with their departmental administrator, so that if possible, alternative arrangements can be identified and agreed. Staff members may wish to seek advice from the University’s Staff Disability Advisor or Occupational Health before holding such discussions with their department.
Different airlines have different policies about carrying passengers with medical conditions or disabilities. The specific airline should be contacted for further advice on their policies. See also the government’s advice on travelling by plane if you are disabled.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal this information will no longer be valid for UK citizens
An EHIC grants access to state-provided healthcare (where it is medically necessary) within the European Economic Area (EEA) countries (including Switzerland), normally at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free, depending on the country’s state provisions. Refer to the country-by-country guide to see the details of cover. The EHIC is a free card, and eligible individuals can apply by filling in the EHIC online application form.
An EHIC card does not replace and should not be used as a substitute for travel insurance (see more information under 'Insurance') and it will not cover any private medical care costs or repatriation. These cards are also time-limited and staff should check the expiry date of their EHIC prior to travelling.
For access to non-emergency healthcare, an S1 certificate may be required. The S1 certificate is the medical counterpart to the A1 certificate, which confirms that social security contributions are continuing in the home state (i.e. the UK).
See also: the NHS guide on ‘moving abroad: planning for your healthcare’
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