Guidance on overseas visitors hospital charging regulations

Guidance on making and recovering charges for NHS hospital treatment from overseas visitors not exempt from charge.


Guidance for NHS bodies in carrying out their duties under the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 to make and recover charges for NHS hospital treatment from chargeable overseas visitors.

It also includes guidance to safeguard the health of those not entitled to free hospital treatment and new guidance on sharing information on NHS debtors to subject them to immigration sanctions.

We have also provided template letters, guidance and posters to help the NHS recover the costs of health care from visitors and migrants.

This has been updated to take account of amendments made to The National Health Services (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Amendment) Regulations 2015, which come into force from 1 February 2016. This replaces all previous guidance manuals on this topic. It is not intended to cover all possible scenarios, and should therefore be used as a companion to the regulations themselves and, where necessary, tailored legal advice.

Statutory Instruments:

Changes to health surcharge

Changes to the health surcharge came into force on 6 April 2016. Nationals of Australia and New Zealand will no longer be exempt from paying the surcharge. In addition, people on a Youth Mobility Scheme visa will be treated the same as students and charged the reduced surcharge rate. People who fall into either of these categories will continue to have a green banner on their NHS record (paid or exempt from the health surcharge).

Please note these changes when reading pages 39 to 43 of ‘Guidance on implementing the overseas visitor hospital charging regulations 2015’.

Reciprocal healthcare agreement with Barbados

The reciprocal healthcare agreement with Barbados was terminated on 1 October 2016. Those visiting from Barbados who access NHS treatment on or after that date may be charged.