Healthcare agreements with social security agreement countries
National Health Service (NHS) treatment is primarily for the benefit of people living in the UK. Healthcare systems in EEA member states vary and it is sometimes therefore necessary to pay a proportion of healthcare as residents of that country may be charged for their healthcare there. These payments are known as the patient contribution or the co-payment. If you have to make such a payment, you may request reimbursement for this cost when you are back in the UK if you are not able to do so in the other country. Please see the DH website for further information.
The cost of healthcare for visitors to non-EEA countries depends on whether the UK has a healthcare agreement with that country. The cost of emergency or immediately necessary treatment is covered. Healthcare in any other part of a hospital is not covered and you will therefore have to pay for this. Further information on healthcare in non-EEA countries is available from the DH website.
Visitors to countries with whom the UK has no healthcare agreement must pay for all healthcare provided. The Department of Health recommend all UK residents have private insurance as well as the European Health Insurance Card for visits to EEA member states, no matter which country they are visiting, as unexpected healthcare costs maybe incurred.
If you are leaving the UK and going to a non-EEA country for more than three months
If you have a National Health Service medical card, please send it, and any of your family's cards, to your Primary Care Trust. If you live in Scotland or Wales, send the card to the local Health Board. In Northern Ireland, send it to the Central Services Agency.
If you don't have a medical card, please tell your local Primary Care Trust, Local Health Board or the Central Services Agency:
- your name;
- your address;
- your date of birth;
- the name and address of your UK doctor;
- your National Health Service number, if you know it; and
- when you are going to leave the UK.
You can get their address from www.nhs.uk, the business numbers section of the phone book or from a post office.
Details of medical services in social security agreement countries
- Jersey and Guernsey (Channel Islands)
- New Zealand
- Republics of former Yugoslavia
Medical services in Barbados
There is a health agreement between the UK and Barbados. It covers people who are ordinarily resident in the UK or Barbados, and temporarily visit the other country.
Visitors can get immediately necessary treatment in the country they visit on the same terms as it is available to local residents. Under the health agreement, UK residents on temporary visits to Barbados are eligible for emergency healthcare under the state health scheme on the same terms as Barbadian residents. British citizens should show their UK passport. Nationals of other countries who are resident in the UK should show their NHS medical card.
In Barbados, hospital inpatient treatment is free of charge. There are no state general practitioner services as such, but there is a network of polyclinics on the island which provide an equivalent service free of charge. There is also a free ambulance service.
Medical services in Bermuda
There is no healthcare agreement between the UK and Bermuda. A large proportion of healthcare in Bermuda is provided by group insurance arranged at your place of work; most employed people are covered in this way. If you do not have an employer in Bermuda, you will need to arrange private medical insurance.
Medical services in Canada
There is no healthcare agreement between the UK and Canada.
Medical services in Israel
There is no agreement between the UK and Israel covering general healthcare. However, if you are getting a UK benefit for an industrial accident or disease, you will be able to receive the same medical treatment in Israel as you would if the condition had been recognised as an industrial injury under the Israeli scheme. Please see Definitions for the note about the area the agreement with Israel covers.
Medical services in Jamaica
There is no healthcare agreement between the UK and Jamaica.
Medical services in Jersey, Guernsey and the other Channel Islands
The Channel Islands include Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Sark and Herm.
A bilateral healthcare agreement between the UK and Jersey came into force on 1 April 2011.
Treatment is similar to that provided by the NHS is free but you will need to provide proof of residence. You will need to pay for dental treatment and prescribed medicines.
Other Channel Islands
Anyone travelling to the other Channel Islands is required to pay for medical treatment if they become ill or injured. Visitors from the UK are advised to arrange for adequate travel insurance in advance.
Medical services in Mauritius
There is no healthcare agreement between the UK and Mauritius.
Medical services in New Zealand
Under a separate health agreement, UK nationals who live in the UK and are on short-term visits to New Zealand are eligible for immediately necessary healthcare under the health system on the same terms as citizens of New Zealand. They should show their UK passport.
If the treatment relates to an existing medical condition, then a medical specialist must agree that it is needed to stop the condition getting seriously worse if it is to be treated under the agreement. If a new condition arises, the medical specialist must agree that you require the treatment promptly. In both cases, the need for treatment must arise during your visit.
You will have to pay the same charges as New Zealanders pay (e.g. for treatment at a doctor’s surgery or prescribed medicines). Routine checks for existing conditions are not normally provided under the agreement. Also, you are not covered for any medical treatment you go to New Zealand specifically to receive.
Medical services in the Philippines
There is no healthcare agreement between the UK and the Philippines.
Medical services in the Republics of the former Yugoslavia
Under the agreement, UK residents (including students) and their dependants who go on a temporary visit to the Republic may receive medical treatment on the same conditions as locally insured people, on presentation of a UK passport. UK state pensioners and posted workers, and their dependants, who are insured in the UK but resident in the Republic are also entitled to medical care under the health systems of the Republic. If you are a UK resident but not a UK national, or a national of the Republic resident in the UK, you will need a certificate of UK social security insurance in order to get medical treatment in the Republic. This can be obtained from the HMRC Residency.
Medical services in Turkey
There is no healthcare agreement between the UK and Turkey. Anyone in Turkey who is insured under the Turkish sickness insurance scheme may receive free medical care for certain prescribed periods. Information about these medical services can be obtained from the Turkish authorities. See Addresses for enquiries about contributions and benefits.
Medical services in the USA
There is no healthcare agreement between the UK and the USA.