NHS turns 70: what rider injuries would cost without free healthcare

  • All riders will have a story that involves the NHS — whether it involves them, a friend, family member or fellow competitor.

    Be that from a trip to A&E, visits to the physio, talking to your GP about an (inconvenient) allergy to horses — the NHS has helped us all at some point.

    Plus the doctors who check riders over after eventing falls? Whether they work privately or for the NHS, there is no doubt that they are involved, or deal directly with, the public healthcare sector.

    Government statistics show there were 430,725 head injuries, 710,763 sprain or ligament injuries and 891,155 dislocations, fractures, joint injuries or non-surgical amputations diagnosed in A&E departments in 2015/16.

    With the risk nature of our sport, there will be a fair few riders who will be able to name themselves within those numbers.

    But what if the NHS wasn’t there and riders faced healthcare bills not only for their beloved horses, but also for themselves?

    Insurance comparison site GoCompare has created a calculator to give people a rough* idea of how much common ailments and treatments cost.

    Calculate your NHS bill >>

    Approximate NHS costs

    • Ambulance callout and ride to A&E: £255
    • A&E visit: £81
    • Overnight hospital stay: £400
    • X-ray: £25
    • MRI: £130
    • Broken arm: £500
    • Broken leg: £1,100
    • Sprains: £680
    • Crutches: £10
    • GP appointment: £45

    *The costs are approximate, taken from past NHS reference cost sheets, NHS data, freedom of information requests and national newspapers.

    In this week’s magazine, out on 5 July, don’t miss our bumper show guide issue, with complete show listings for 2018 plus features on keeping horses sound on hard ground, the best show venues in Britain and much more.

    In this week’s H&H interview, we talk to international event rider Izzy Taylor and check out our new feature ‘Fix it’ — Laura Tomlinson on improving a horse’s self-carriage. Read reports from across the disciplines over the weekend, including dressage action from Sheepgate, showjumping from Royal Highland and more.

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