Your entitlements to NHS funded treatments abroad
If you’re considering travelling to another EEA country, or Switzerland, to receive medical treatment, it is very important that you understand how it works, the processes and risk associated with it. Any mistakes could result in you being liable for the full cost of the treatment abroad.
UK residents are eligible to receive treatment in any EEA country, funded by the NHS. However certain conditions and criteria may apply depending on individual circumstances.
Please note, the European Health Insurance Card EHIC does not entitle patients to travel abroad for medical treatment. EHIC is only for emergency treatment that becomes necessary while abroad.
Funding options for treatments abroad
There are two paths you can take to receive NHS-funded care:
S2 Scheme (E112) – This is route is a direct agreement between the NHS and the state healthcare provider of the country you choose to have the procedure in. For this reason prior approval is required, failure to do so will result in you paying for the full cost of care.
EU directive on cross-border healthcare (or Article 56) – You will have to cover the cost of the treatment abroad and then claim back the cost from the NHS on your return home. Not all treatments will require prior approval, but it is advised you consult your NHS care provider and get authorisation.
Who’s eligible for NHS funded treatments abroad?
In essence, all UK residents who are entitled to NHS care are eligible to go to another European, EEA country to receive treatment.
The NHS will only fund treatments abroad that are offered by the NHS. To be sure if the treatment you require is covered by the NHS we would recommend you contact your local health organisation.
Travel and accommodation expenses are not covered by the NHS.