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NHS treatment is not free for everyone, it is a residency based service provided to anyone who is "ordinarily resident" in the UK.

This means someone who lives lawfully on a settled basis in the UK. If you require hospital treatment you may be asked to provide evidence that you are "ordinarily resident" in the UK.

Below are a few questions you may have. Click on a topic to find out more.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Is any treatment free?

  • Accident and Emergency care is free to everyone.
  • Family planning services - except pregnancy termination and fertility treatment
  • Treatment for most infectious diseases

All non-urgent/elective care needs to be paid for in advance.

 

Can treatment be refused/delayed?

No urgent / emergency care can be refused or delayed but you may still have to pay.

All other treatment (elective/non-urgent) will need to be paid for in advance.

Information of any unpaid treatment is shared with the Home Office which could affect future Visa applications.

People with unpaid bills may be stopped by immigration on entry to the UK.

This Trust recommends entry to the UK is refused until payment is made.A full list of the guidance can be found here.

 

I’m visiting from the EEA, can I get free treatment?

If you are visiting from the EEA you may be able to access free care if you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), Valid Provisional Replacement Card (PRC), S1 or S2 form.

You will need to pay for care if you do not have one of the above.

 

I’m visiting from outside the EEA will I need to pay?

Yes in most cases. If you have insurance you will need to pay for your care and claim this back from the insurance. If we are provided we a “guarantee to pay” from the insurance we will be able to accept payment direct form them .

 

I paid the Health Surcharge, is all my treatment free?

Yes (except assisted conception), but only with a valid Visa and you must provide evidence of both.

As of 21st August 2017 Assisted Conception including fertility services are no longer covered under the Health Surcharge agreement.

If you are have paid the Health Surcharge as part of your Visa application please contact the Overseas Patient Manager on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

What are Reciprocal Healthcare Agreements?

Some countries hold a Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement with the UK.If you are visiting from one of these countries you will need to provide evidence that you are a national/resident in that country.

 

I have a British passport but live in another country, can I still get free treatment?

No, you need to be “ordinarily resident” in the UK.

 

What happens if I don’t pay for treatment I have had?

If you fail to pay for treatment you have received your information is shared with the Home Office. This could affect future Visa applications.

People with unpaid bills may be stopped by immigration on entry to the UK.

This Trust recommends entry to the UK is refused until payment is made. 

 

How do I find out more information?

If you have any further questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For details on the charging regulations, please click here.

The NHS website has information about visiting or moving to England that you may find helpful.