Overseas Visitors

Not all patients who are entitled or eligible to receive NHS primary care medical services (GP Services) are entitled or eligible to receive NHS secondary care services (hospital) without charge.

Only patients who are “ordinarily resident” in the UK are entitled to receive secondary care services. Patients who are classed as “overseas visitors” are subject to charges for secondary care (unless there is a reciprocal agreement with their country of residence).

“Overseas visitors” are eligible to receive primary care services (GP Services).

Where a GP refers an overseas visitor for hospital services they should inform the patient that the hospital may charge them for treatment even though the GP may have treated them on the NHS.

Visiting nationals from the European Economic Area in possession of a Form E128, E112 or European Health Insurance (EHIC) or nationals from any state with which the UK has a reciprocal agreement are eligible to receive free NHS care. However they may not be entitled to free treatment for a pre-existing condition or where it is reasonable for to delay treatment until the visitor returns home.

It is not however the responsibility of the practice to establish entitlement to NHS hospital treatment as hospitals have overseas visitor managers who are trained to formally determine this.

Advice on entitlement to free NHS hospital services can be found here:


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