Brits requiring consular assistance on the up

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on July 19, 2012

The amount of Britons that required consular assistance overseas rose last year, according to a report by the Foreign Office.

Not including lost and stolen passports, the Foreign Office handled 19,874 cases from April 1, 2011, to March 31, 2012 –  up by three per cent when compared to 2010/11. The highest number of incidents (5,405) occurred in Spain, and this figure dwarfed the rest of the pack with the US following with 1,822 incidents and France coming in third with 1,319.

When comparing the number of UK visitors to a country with the amount of consular cases, South East Asian nation the Philippines was where consulate assistance has been most likely to be required, with Thailand, Jamaica and Pakistan following. There was a small increase in the amount of hospitalisations reported, with roughly 70 Britons requiring treatment every week.

Over 30 per cent of cases occurred in Spain, with Majorca and Ibiza, traditionally destinations that are popular with younger crowds, seeing their hospitalisations rise by 132  per cent and 40 per cent respectively when compared to 2010/2011. The most common reasons for Brits requiring hospital treatment were car accidents, falls from hotel balconies, pedestrian accidents and heart attacks.

Worryingly, the amount of deaths, lost or stolen passport cases and rapes also rose.  The Foreign Office stated that 6,237 Britons passed away while overseas, which was up from 5,972 recorded in 2010/11. Instances of rape increased from 115 to 127, while the amount of passports that were either lost or stolen jumped from 25,969 to 28,569.

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