Foreign Minister Bob Carr today launched a nationwide $2.6 million campaign to remind Australians of the health and financial risks of travelling overseas while uninsured.
The Minister was accompanied by Ms Erin Langworthy, a young Australian who fell 360 feet into a river in Zambia in 2011 after her bungee cord broke.
Ms Langworthy's insurance ensured treatment in a high-quality hospital and saved around $50,000 in medical bills.
"Australian embassies and consulates assist more than 14000 Australian families in distress each year," Senator Carr said.
"Regrettably this includes many hospitalisations, accidents and illnesses on the road.
"Australians without travel insurance can be risking poor local hospital care and high medical bills if they are sick or injured while overseas.
"The message of this campaign is to take care overseas and take out insurance before you leave."
The $2.6 m Smartraveller campaign commences tonight with electronic advertisements and postcards featuring Erin Langworthy.
The campaign would also include:
- a Smartraveller iPhone App offering location-aware travel advice and the ability to register travel plans without an internet connection;
- a new Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/smartraveller.gov.au - providing a chance to share views with other travellers on how to travel more safely; and
- a 'Travel Tales' competition offering travel vouchers in return for safety-related travel stories, photos or videos.
- Minister's office: (02) 6277 7584
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555