Fill in the forms for a peaceful holiday

PICTURE DAVID JOHNSTONE:'NHS 24: DR GEORGE CROOKS WHO IS MEDICAL DIRECTOR FOR NHS 24.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT : Amelia.Whittaker@nhs24.scot.nhs.uk Tel 07917587377.Date 12/06/09.
PICTURE DAVID JOHNSTONE:'NHS 24: DR GEORGE CROOKS WHO IS MEDICAL DIRECTOR FOR NHS 24.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT : Amelia.Whittaker@nhs24.scot.nhs.uk Tel 07917587377.Date 12/06/09.

My family and I are going to Europe on holiday soon. Do I need to get individual health insurance cards for us, or is one for the family ok?

Each person needs their own card, but you can use the same EHIC application to apply for cards for yourself, your partner and any dependant children under 19 in full-time education.

For each person you need to provide: National Insurance number; first names and surname (family name); date of birth.

If you’re under 16, your parent or guardian will need to apply for you.

The EHIC covers: medical treatment you may need during your visit if you’re ill or have an accident; treatment for long-term (chronic) conditions existing illnesses, such kidney (renal) dialysis; routine maternity care as long as you aren’t going abroad to specifically give birth. It does not cover private medical treatment.

I have been told I can’t eat sushi because I’m pregnant. Is this the case?

It’s usually safe to eat sushi and other dishes made with raw fish when you’re pregnant. However, you may need to make sure that it’s been frozen first for at least 24 hours.

Occasionally, raw fish contain small worms, parasites such as anisakid worms. These worms can cause health problems if people eat raw or undercooked fish infected with them. Freezing raw fish kills any worms and makes it safe.

Some fish used to make sushi, such as smoked salmon, doesn’t need to be frozen first as smoking kills any worms. Other methods, such as salting or pickling, are also used to make raw fish safe to eat. A lot of sushi contains shellfish such as shrimps, prawns, crab and scallops. When pregnant, you should only eat cooked shellfish. Raw shellfish can contain harmful viruses and bacteria that can cause food poisoning.

If eating sushi prepared in a restaurant, ask if the shellfish in it has been cooked. Food safety regulations require shops and restaurants to freeze raw fish used to make sushi at -20C for at least 24 hours.