Menu Home Search

Treatment of Overseas Visitors

Updated on 01 August 2018, 802 views

Everyone who approaches a practice for treatment should be offered NHS primary care

The LMC understands that the Department of Health  lawyers  looking at  the  charging  of overseas visitors for NHS services have decided  that the GMS Regulations  -  as currently written -  imply that any person, regardless of nationality, residence, or other factors, should be offered  temporary registration  or immediately necessary treatment if they approach a practice for medical care.  In theory  practices could probably refuse  registration if  they could demonstrate that such refusals were non-discriminatory, but it could well be deemed that it would be discriminatory if only non-UK residents were declined registration.

It looks as though  this includes eligibility for NHS GP prescriptions, but we  think it would be reasonable to restrict the duration of these to the length of time that the patient is going to be in the country.  So, if a patient is visiting for a week and comes requesting his or her routine medication,  they should be offered just enough for their stay in England.

Referring the patient (Information for primary care staff providing healthcare for overseas visitors from the European Economic Area)

No-one can be charged directly for NHS primary medical care but if you are aware that a patient is chargeable or holds an EHIC, S1 or S2, it is helpful if you let the hospital know this when referring the patient to secondary care. The hospital’s overseas visitor manager will use this information to recover the costs of care provided in hospital.