Ukrainian actress Oksana Haivas died during the vacation in one of the world famous resorts. According to the Embassy of Ukraine in the Arab Republic of Egypt, Oksana Haivas died on the night of March 8 in the Red Sea Hospital in Hurghada from severe injuries after a quad bike riding. She died after three days in a coma.

The body of the actress was to be delivered home on March 12. Ukrainian Embassy in Egypt sent a note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, concerning a prompt and impartial investigation into the death of our compatriot.

The case is under special control of the Embassy and the Consular Service Department of the Foreign Ministry.

The insurance company, however, said it would not consider the death of Ukrainian tourist as insurance case, and refused to pay for her treatment, and a commercial company demanded four thousand dollars from the mother Tetyana Dobrovolska for delivery of the body.

ForUm decided to ask the opinions of experts on how protected Ukrainian citizens are abroad.

Tetyana Yablonska, lawyer, human rights activist:

- Tourists must read carefully what the list of insurance includes and what services are covered. That's it. There is nothing to comment on. Our people just do not read what they sign, including insurance contracts and bank contracts.
Tetyana Montyan, lawyer:

- Insurance in Ukraine is waste of money. Our people are used to buy insurance off the mark and never read about exceptions, uninsurable risks, deductible. As a result, they turn out to be unprotected.

Yulia Oliynyk, spokesperson of the Association of tourism business leaders of Ukraine:

- People should read information of insurance very carefully and pay attention to nuances. For example, if a tourist had a drink, then fell into a pool and broke a bone, an insurance company may refuse to pay compensation. Treatment expenses may also be not covered if a tourist takes minimum coverage insurance but intends to do extreme sports, like scuba diving, rafting, rock climbing. In this case, it is better to take extended cover.

Misunderstandings often happen because tourists do not read the documents they sign and do not care about additional available protection mechanisms.
Myroslav Boichyn, "European tourist insurance" company:

- According to the statistics, there is 1 - 1.5 loss event per every 100 insurance cases. Insurance companies offer two types of insurance: ordinary (passive vacation) and extended (active vacation with increased risks).

Comparing to the price of the tour, insurance is not expensive. For example, a tour in Egypt costs 400 dollars per person, and ordinary insurance costs only 2 dollars per 10 days. If you plan to do extreme sports, it is better to take extended coverage, which costs 4 dollars. It is not big money, but our tourists ignore the risks and rarely take extended coverage.

And, finally, tourists are adult people, responsible for their lives. The government is not obliged to pay for treatment abroad in case of injuries. The government does not force tourists to ride squad bikes or skiing. This is a personal choice.

Kost Bondarenko, expert, political scientist, chairman of the Institute of Ukrainian politics:

- Speaking about legal protection, it is within Ukrainian legislation. There is a law on insurance and it stipulates all the cases. It is obvious that every insurance company wants to limit the number of loss occurrences and to avoid paying compensations. It happens not only in Ukraine, but all over the world. Business is business.

Analyzing the figures, there are not so many Ukrainians dying abroad comparing to other nations, including Europeans.

It is not right to say that Ukrainians are not protected. In this situation, for example, the Foreign Ministry does help. Moreover, remember how many rescue operations our government held in Syria, Libya and other countries. As for the timing, every consulate has its own red tape, and it is a task of the parliament to adopt new laws and change the situation.

Oleh Pikerski, a representative of the All-Ukrainian association of tour operators, director of "Artex 94" tour company:

- Such situations happen in Egypt more often than in other countries. Accidents and incidents usually happen due to poor quality of transportation and poor skills of drivers.

As for the case of Ukrainian actress, squad bike riding is not very dangerous. The girl probably was not instructed properly and the group was unattended - typical slovenliness.  

Tour operators are sales managers, and they do not bear responsibility for health and life of tourists. Their primary task is to process documents properly. On the other hand, a good tour operator should recommend good insurance companies for tourists to be more protected hundred miles away from home.


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