Visiting a country within the European Economic Area (EEA)?
Due to the changes to our status with Europe and the Coronavirus Pandemic, please check government web sites for the latest status before you plan to travel or travel. Click here: Government Web site: Travel Abroad.
Note that you EHIC card may no longer apply. Check detail on EHIC and GHIC (global health insurance cards) cards on this link.
From the Gov.uk web site:
There are two types of cover available.
You can apply for either:
- a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)
- a UK European Health Insurance Card (new UK EHIC), if you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement
For most people, the UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) replaces the existing European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for new applications. They provide the same access to healthcare in the EU.
If you have an EHIC
If you have an existing EHIC, it will remain valid until the expiry date on the card. Once your current card expires, you’ll need to apply for a new card.
You can apply for a new card up to 6 months before your current card expires.
How to use an EHIC or GHIC
You can use an EHIC or GHIC to get state-provided medically necessary healthcare when you’re visiting an EU country.
Medically necessary healthcare means healthcare that cannot reasonably wait until you come back to the UK. Whether treatment is necessary is decided by the healthcare provider in the country you are visiting.
Medically necessary healthcare includes things like:
- emergency treatment and visits to A&E
- treatment for long-term or pre-existing medical conditions
- routine medical care for pre-existing conditions that need monitoring
- routine maternity care, as long as you’re not going abroad to give birth
- oxygen therapy and kidney dialysis
You’ll need to pre-arrange some treatments with the relevant healthcare provider in the country you are visiting, for example kidney dialysis or chemotherapy. You should do so at least 8 weeks before travelling.
Not all state healthcare is free in the EU and you may have to pay for services that you would get for free on the NHS.
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 www.nhs.uk
Please remember to check to see if you need any travel vaccinations. Further information in our Travel Vaccination section.