Football players and their medical cover is somewhat a mystery to the football fans out there. We all know that, before a player signs for any club they have to undergo a medical. We hear a lot on the news that a deal has been done, subject to a medical, but actually happens in a medical? Confidentiality means it difficult to get an idea about medical exams, but it is known that the players undergo a number of medical tests to discover if they have any accruing injuries that can decline their ability. It’s a very important part of a signing and can determine whether the transfer is completed or not. If a player is to pass a medical exam what happens to them if they were to get injured later on in their career? Do they need health cards or are they already insured by their club?
Clubs insure their players against injury (if they can afford it)
Footballers have no need for a health card such as an EHIC card because they’re usually insured by their club. If they were to get injured then their club doctors usually would tend to their injuries/illness. Now days, the top flight clubs earn enough money to employ private doctors, physios and professional equipment to care for the top stars. To ensure that their highest paid players get the best treatment on offer, they will build a team of doctors so if they were to encounter any injuries, they’ll be able to get them back and playing in quick succession.
Types of coverages those insurances provide vary just like any other insurance policy. There are certain insurances that would pay compensation which involves player’s salary for the rest of his contract in case of a career ending injury, insurances that would pay player’s salary for duration of injury and so on. In addition to this, the FA also offers some sort of insurance, FA pay compensation to clubs if any of the players would get injured on international duty. However this compensation is only considered by club/FA based on factors like prior injury records, fitness of players before reporting to the national squad, extent of lay off due to injury, depreciation of a players contact etc.
With all of this being said, it is known that some players will have their own PHI (personal health insurance) and this will be common with clubs that aren’t in the top flight. Lower tier clubs won’t able to afford the health insurance that clubs like Chelsea or Arsenal may offer, so they will take out their own insurance to cover themselves. This may work in the same way as the clubs insurance just not as efficient, yet most professional clubs will have a team insurance and have their own physios etc. So back to the original question, do football players need health cards when playing in Europe? No they don’t, because most professional football clubs already have their own health insurance, Health cards won’t be needed because they’re already covered with their club, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get on!