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Ash cloud flight disruption - information for travellers with diabetes

For the latest information and news regarding flight disruption due to the volcanic ash cloud see following the websites:

The Department for Transport and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

If you are a British national stranded abroad 

If you need medication

If you are running out of medication, you can check if any is available at your local pharmacy, or go to a local hospital or doctor.

If you need a hospital or a doctor

The website of the British Embassy can help you to find a hospital or doctor –– or if you have the number, call your local embassy for further advice.

You should also contact the British Embassy if you are admitted to hospital.

British nationals stranded overseas can contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice line on +44 20 7008 0000 for further information.

The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers - can provide names of English-speaking healthcare professionals in the country you are travelling in and is available to advise travellers.

You can also contact your nearest British Embassy or local medical schools for lists of English-speaking doctors.

Diabetes associations

The International Diabetes Federation can provide details of diabetes associations in each country -

Keep receipts and details for possible reimbursement

In the event that you have to pay for any medical treatment or prescription medicines before you return to the UK, you should retain all receipts and details as you may be entitled to reimbursement of the costs from your travel insurance provider.

European Health Insurance Card 

If you have one, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), allows you to access state-provided healthcare in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland. There are conditions and restrictions as to what is covered and the EHIC does not provide any cover for repatriation. Full details of the cover provided by the EHIC can be found on the EHIC website - This also provides a link giving you details of the conditions and restrictions in each country.

If you are a foreign national in the UK

Emergency treatment in doctors' surgeries and hospitals

You can obtain treatment from any GP surgery or hospital. Emergency treatment is generally free in GP surgeries and accident and emergency departments of hospitals, and you will not be charged for calling out an ambulance in an emergency.

Other treatment

For any other treatment you receive you will be charged on a private basis. Citizens from countries within the European Economic Area or any countries with a reciprocal health care agreement with the UK will be covered for medical treatment as a result of any sudden illness. You will not however be entitled to receive ongoing care for your diabetes under this healthcare agreement and you will have to pay for insulin supplies and needles, etc.

Your insulin manufacturer and brand name

You can contact your insulin manufacturer to see if your insulin is supplied in the United Kingdom and check that it is manufactured under the same name. You will need a doctor’s prescription to obtain insulin in the UK, so you will have to visit a GP or hospital in an emergency to obtain this.

Contact numbers for insulin manufacturers in the UK:

  • Lilly: 01256 315999
  • Novo Nordisk: 0845 600 5055
  • Sanofi Aventis: 01483 505515
  • Wockhardt UK: 01978 661261.

Diabetes UK Careline

Anyone still concerned about their situation can contact Diabetes UK Careline for further advice.

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