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McGill & Co is a Scottish immigration law firm specialising in UK immigration, nationality and refugee law.

Are you eligible for NHS treatment?

14 September 2018 James Ritchie Personal Immigration

 Whether a person has access to the NHS services depends on their immigration status in the UK. You may therefore be charged for certain services, whilst other services are free to all. Entitlement to NHS services has long been a confusing topic for migrants, and occasionally for the Home Office too.

This blog will attempt to shed light on the relationship between the NHS and immigration.

The general criteria for NHS eligibility depends on whether you are ordinarily resident in the UK. If you are ordinarily resident, you will not be charged.

According to the Government, a person who is ordinarily resident means: “broadly, living in the UK on a lawful, voluntary and properly settled basis for the time being”. There are of course exceptions for those who are not ordinarily resident, such as:

  • Those who are non-EEA nationals who have paid their immigration surcharge; or
  • Those with an enforceable EU right to free healthcare, such as possession of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC); or
  • Those who are vulnerable patients, such as refugees, asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking, or immigration detainees.

There are certain services which the NHS provides free to all, irrespective of whether they are a resident. These are:

  • A&E services – this includes walk-in clinics;
  • Family planning services;
  • Diagnosis and treatment of some infectious diseases;
  • Diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections; and
  • Treatment required for a physical or mental condition caused by torture, female genital mutilation, domestic violence, or sexual violence

Other NHS services or treatments may incur cost. It should be noted that if it becomes apparent that a person travelled to the UK with the specific intention to seek any of the above exempt treatments, it may become chargeable.

Contact McGill & Co UK Personal Immigration Solicitors Today

We understand how important immigration issues are for our clients, and so we always strive to provide a comprehensive, efficient and superior service. With offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh, we cover all areas of Scotland and throughout the UK, as well as undertaking applications for entry clearance to the UK made from abroad.

Call us on 0131 228 2083 for our Edinburgh office or 0141 248 6552 for our Glasgow office or fill out our online form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.



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