Hospital treatment is free to people who are “ordinarily resident” in the UK.To be considered ordinarily resident and entitled to free hospital treatment, you must be living in the UK on a lawful and properly settled basis for the time being. You may be asked to prove this.You cannot be considered ordinarily resident in the UK unless you have indefinite leave to remain.
If you’re visiting England for more than 6 months, you’ll need to pay the immigration health surcharge, unless you’re exempt from paying it. The full amount will be paid upfront for the duration of your visa.
If you’ve paid the surcharge or are exempt from paying it, and your visa allows you to be here for more than 6 months, you’ll be entitled to free NHS hospital treatment in England on a similar basis to an ordinarily resident person, with the exception of NHS-funded assisted conception services. Your entitlement will apply from the date your visa is granted until it expires. You’ll have to pay some charges, such as prescription or dental charges.
If you’re visiting England for less than 6 months, you should ensure you’re covered for healthcare through personal medical insurance during your visit, even if you’re a former UK resident. If you’re not ordinarily resident in the UK and you need to pay for NHS hospital treatment, you’ll be charged at 150% of the national NHS rate.
Services that are free to everyone
Some services or treatments carried out in an NHS hospital are exempt from charges, so they’re free to all.
- A&E services – not including emergency treatment if admitted to hospital
- family planning services – this does not include abortions or infertility treatment
- treatment for most infectious diseases, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- treatment required for a physical or mental condition caused by torture, female genital mutilation (FGM), domestic violence, or sexual violence – this does not apply if you have come to England to seek this treatment