If you are going abroad you may be entitled to medical care at reduced cost or sometimes free. Your entitlement will vary based on whether you're going to an European Economic Area country (EEA) or elsewhere in the world. However before you go you need to organise health insurance and vaccinations.

NHS Healthcare Abroad

While you are abroad, you may be entitled to medical care at reduced cost or sometimes free. Your entitlement will vary based on whether you're going to an European Economic Area country (EEA) or elsewhere in the world.

If you are thinking about any sort of planned medical or dental treatment outside the UK, you need to discuss this fully with your GP, hospital consultant or dentist

For full details about NHS funding and healthcare whilst you are abroad, including

  • emergency care
  • your options for planned treatment abroad
  • moving abroad

go to NHS Choices website.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) replaced the old E111 in 2006 and enables you to  get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries, including Switzerland.  It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return and also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, as long as you're not going abroad to give birth.

As a result of the BREXIT deal the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is to be slowly replaced by the UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

You can no longer apply for or renew an EHIC card.

UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

The GHIC card will entitle you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during a trip to the European Union (EU).

If you already have an EHIC card you do not need to apply for a GHIC card until your EHIC card expires.

The new GHIC card is free to obtain from the official GHIC website. You  will need to apply at least 2 weeks before you plan to travel to ensure your card arrives on time.

You can apply for a GHIC card at the following links:

Further infomation about the EHIC/GHIC is available from MoneySavingExpert.

Neither the GHIC or the EHIC will cover travellers in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

More information about what is covered in each country is availble from NHS Choices.

Beware of unofficial websites, which may charge if you apply through them.

Travelling to the EU

Details of the changes to healthcare when travelling to the EU are available at the following link:

Tourettes Action ID cards

Tourettes Action’s, credit card size, Identity Cards can aid other people's understanding of Tourette Syndrome by acknowledging your diagnosis and providing a short explanation of the condition. To provide some extra support when travelling abroad, TA have also produced translations of the ID card in eight languages. Find out more.


If you're planning to travel abroad the first thing you need to think about is health insurance and vaccinations.

Check with your doctor, or a private travel health clinic, as soon as possible to find out whether you need any vaccinations or anti-malaria tablets for your trip. They will have the very latest advice and information.

An overview of travel vaccinations can be found on the NHS Choices web-site and for detailed information of the vaccinations available follow this link.

Medical Insurance

Most standard travel insurance policies will include some medical cover, so normally you will not need to buy a specific medical travel insurance policy.

Medical cover is an important element of a travel insurance policy because medical expenses overseas can escalate quickly, if emergency services and surgery are required. It is therefore important that you check your policy to see what level of cover is provided such as emergency medical care, prescription medication needed as a result of injury or sickness, emergency dental treatment, and accommodation costs if you need to extend your stay as a result of injury or illnessYou must also ensure that any pre-existing medical conditions are stated on the policy.

For more information on travel insurance go to the My Advice Gateway page, Travel Insurance.

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