Visiting the United Kingdom
The Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) we have with the United Kingdom (UK) may cover some of your medical costs in the UK public health system.
To be eligible it must be:
- medically necessary care that can’t wait till you get home
- in the National Health Service (NHS) system
- within 6 months after you arrive.
Most NHS services are free. You’ll still pay fees for some things, such as medicine.
If you get private care you’ll pay the full cost.
The agreement covers:
- care from an NHS doctor or nurse at a GP surgery - you need to register there as an NHS patient
- care in a public ward of an NHS hospital
- out-patient care at an NHS hospital
- ambulance travel to an NHS hospital or other NHS facilities
- prescription medicine if the doctor treats you as an NHS patient, there’s a small fee for this.
What it doesn’t cover
The agreement doesn’t cover:
- non-subsidised medicine from pharmacies
- prescription medicines if you’re not an NHS patient
- any dental services.
Your travel insurance may cover these and other extra costs.
What to do
Ask for care as an NHS patient. Be ready to show your passport and Medicare card.
You don’t need to join the NHS. Doctors can register and treat anyone as a visitor but can refuse with reason.
Health care can vary in parts of the UK. Read about NHS cover in:
- England on the My NHS website
- Scotland on the NHS Scotland website
- Wales on the Health in Wales website
- Northern Ireland on the HSC website
- the Isle of Man on the Isle of Man Government website
- Jersey, Channel Islands on the Jersey Government website
- Guernsey, Channel Islands on the Guernsey Government website.
Page last updated: 16 January 2020
This information was printed 16 July 2021 from https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/reciprocal-health-care-agreements/when-australians-go-overseas/about-reciprocal-health-care-agreements/visiting-united-kingdom. It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/site-notices when using this material.