Channel Islands Health Care and Vaccinations
Anyone travelling to the Channel Islands, including visitors from the UK, will be required to pay for medical treatment should they become ill or injured. All visitors are strongly advised to take out adequate health and medical insurance before they travel. The islands are outside the EU and therefore not covered by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Without insurance, anyone travelling to the Channel Islands from a country without a reciprocal health agreement, will be required to pay for medical treatment should they become ill or injured. Currently the Channel Islands has reciprocal agreements with Australia, Austria, Barbados, Iceland, Jersey, New Zealand, Portugal and Sweden.
Jersey has the General Hospital, The Parade and the Island Medical Centre, Gloucester St, both in St Helier.
On Guernsey most doctors and dentists are in private practice and patients are required to pay for any treatment by a GP. This can be at a surgery, at a temporary residence or in the Accident and Emergency Department at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital (PEH), which is operated by the Board of Health, as these services are provided by GPs in private practice.
On Sark, the island is expected to retain a doctor on-site to tend to locals and tourists alike. Visitors should address their concerns to the surgery, which is located at the medical centre on the Seigneurie Road (tel: +44 1481 832045; www.medical.sark.gg). Medical examinations, treatment for minor ailments and basic surgical procedures are available at the Sark Surgery, but in an emergency casualties may be taken to Guernsey or Jersey by helicopter or boat. The residents of nearby island Brecqhou have made their helicopter available free of charge for healthcare emergencies.
On Alderney there is a small hospital, two medical practices and one dental practice.
Food and Drink
Seafood is a speciality throughout the Channel Islands, and tends to be supplied to the hotels and restaurants by local fishermen. While fish on the islands should therefore be fresher than in many destinations, care should always be taken when enjoying seafood. When it comes to oysters, a Channel Island favourite, check that the shell is unopened and that the oyster is moist and meaty with minimal odour before you tuck in.
Guernsey is known for its excellent beaches but the island also has one of the highest tidal ranges in the UK, reaching up to 3m (10 ft). Visitors should be mindful of the tides as these can change quite rapidly, and cut off access to the beach. There are no lifeguards on the island and swimmers should take necessary precautions. On average, Guernsey experiences warmer weather than the UK, and sunbathers should take to protect themselves from prolonged exposure to the sun.