The most expensive steak and chips in the world? For this diner's insurer it was.

Contributed by APRIL International UK, 03 June, 2015

Planning a move to work abroad, especially to a frontier country such as Iraq and you would be foolish to leave home without comprehensive international health insurance. You'd want to check for emergency evacuation cover and protection against a whole host of other eventualities from terrorism to car accidents and hospital treatment. But few would imagine that a simple steak night out would end up with a call to the doctor and an emergency international evacuation.

But that is precisely what happened to a client of APRIL International UK recently. Posted to Iraq, all was going well until he tucked in to his T Bone. Midway through the meal, a small piece of meat became lodged in his throat, with the result that he could neither swallow food nor drink water.

Having by now lost his appetite as well as his sense of humour, the doctor was called. It is a little known fact, but something as apparently mundane as a blockage in the digestive tract can have significant and potentially fatal consequences. The main short term risk arises through dehydration, which can lead quickly to kidney damage and other serious consequential health complications. In a hot country the effect is magnified.

Without being able to drink water, it became vital that the blockage was cleared. But in Iraq at the time, there was no nearby hospital that could undertake the procedure, so the insurers ordered an immediate air evacuation to the nearest centre where treatment could be obtained, in this case Jordan. By now on a drip to maintain hydration, the patient was quickly airlifted out to waiting doctors who were able to remove the offending mouthful of steak.

What started out as a night out with friends ended in an international medical incident, the cost of which was over £26,000. Debbie Purser, managing director of international health insurers APRIL International UK explained, "We are quite used to having to deal with emergency evacuations, but in this case, the client was not obviously injured, nor ill. However, without treatment, his health was certainly at risk and the dangers from dehydration, particularly in a hot country such as Iraq, could have become very serious, very quickly. Happily, we were able to swallow the problem and serve up the required treatment quickly and efficiently. It is unexpected incidents such as these that underline the importance of expatriates of all nationalities having the right international healthcare insurance to support them, wherever they are in the world, however good or bad the cooking."

For details of APRIL International UK's International health insurance plans visit

Tags: expatriates | Jordan | Iraq | insurance | food |



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