If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether your destination country can provide the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment.

See the Coronavirus travel health and Healthcare sections in the Coronavirus page for COVID-19 health information.

Health advice

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.

Check the latest country-specific information and advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website or from NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any treatment abroad, medical evacuation and repatriation. You should contact your insurance or medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

St Helena

An adequate standard of medical care is available on St Helena, but all visitors, including UK residents, are charged a fee for medical and dental treatment. If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 999 and ask for an ambulance.


There is a small hospital on Ascension that is available to deal with day-to-day complaints but sophisticated treatment is not available on the island. The hospital charges visitors for both outpatient and in-patient treatment. If you need regular supplies of prescription drugs, you should make sure you bring adequate supplies with you. A UK-qualified dentist is available on the island.

If you intend to participate in diving sports, please note that there is no decompression facility on Ascension, nor are there qualified rescue divers. Visiting divers are strongly recommended to dive with an experienced diver. There is a small diving club on the island.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 999 and ask for an ambulance.

Tristan da Cunha

A good standard of general practice level medical care is available on Tristan da Cunha. Operations and more serious medical cases usually require medical evacuation to Cape Town and this depends on the availability of ships. It might be up to two months before travel to Cape Town is possible and even then, the journey itself can take up to a week, or longer in bad weather. Limited pharmaceutical supplies are available on Tristan and you should make sure you take sufficient stock of any regular prescription medication with you.