Reciprocal medical care

The UK has reciprocal healthcare agreements with a number of countries, which enable UK citizens to access healthcare in the other countries for a reduced cost or, in some cases, free of charge. What you are entitled to varies between countries.

This arrangement may not apply if you are planning to live or work in the country. Contact the HMRC’s helpline for national insurance enquiries for non-UK residents on 0300 200 3506 for more information. 

If you are travelling to another European Economic Area (EEA) country, or to Switzerland, Iceland, Norway or Lichtenstein, you should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you travel. This will provide you with free or reduced cost medical care in this region. You can apply for one online, by calling the automated application service on 0300 3301350, or by downloading an application form and returning it to the NHS Business Services Authority, which processes all applications.

NHS Business Services Authority

EHIC applications Bridge House

152 Pilgrim Street

Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 6SN

The UK also has reciprocal healthcare agreements with a number of non-EEA countries. A complete list can be found in the NHS country-by-country guide, which also details the health care that individual countries offer under the scheme.

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.