Healthcare When you Travel Abroad

Visiting a country within the European Economic Area (EEA)?

Remember to take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you.  You can find further details here:-

The EHIC is free of charge and you can apply or renew a card via the official EHIC online application form.  Beware of unofficial websites, which may charge if you apply through them.

An EHIC will enable you to access state-provided healthcare in European Economic Area (EEA) countries, including Switzerland, at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free.  It will cover your treatment until you return to the UK.  It also covers treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care, providing the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth. For more information about what is covered in each country, see the NHS country-by-country guide.

The EHIC card is not an alternative to travel insurance.  It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs, such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, being flown back to the UK, or lost or stolen property.  Therefore, it is important to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy. Some insurers now insist that you hold an EHIC, and many will waive the excess if you have one.

If you are travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment, please read our section on seeking medical treatment in Europe.

Visiting a Country Outside of the EEA?

For countries outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) please follow this link for further information.

Information from

Please remember to check to see if you need any travel vaccinations.  Further information in our Travel Vaccination section.