I have dual GB/Canadian nationality, left UK for Canada 13 years ago. I get a state pension from the UK. Am I eligible for emergency health care in the UK if I am visiting?


2 Answers 2


Starting from 6th of April 2015 all British expats living outside the EEA will have to pay for NHS services. Emergency treatment remains free as before but if you need ongoing care after the initial emergency treatment then you will have to pay 150% of normal NHS charges. This was not the case before, all British expats who were drawing a UK pension had access to free NHS services.

Source : British expats from outside the EEA


Everybody receives the emergency healthcare they need in the UK. The National Health Service says (source):

Once the hospital has established that you must pay for treatment, you will usually be asked to pay the full cost in advance, unless emergency treatment is required immediately. [...]

If you are not entitled to receive free NHS hospital treatment you will not be refused medical treatment that stabilises a life-threatening condition, for example, for renal failure. Treatment will be given to deal with the emergency, but you will be expected to return home for it to be completed, once the emergency is over.

If there is not an emergency, but treatment has to start immediately, you may be asked to give an undertaking to pay. In these circumstances, it is very important that you find out the likely cost.

  • So, are you in fact asking if you're entitled to free emergency healthcare? May 20, 2016 at 23:33
  • Yes, because although I have travel insurance, it does not cover emergency treatment for pre-existing medical conditions. @Gayot Fow Jun 4, 2016 at 0:31

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