New Zealand High Commission London, United Kingdom

Healthcare in the UK

Reciprocal Agreement

New Zealand has a reciprocal healthcare agreement with the United Kingdom for the provision of urgent medical treatment for emergency conditions that occur while in the UK. The agreement covers anyone who is ordinarily a resident and a citizen of New Zealand – regardless of nationality – and treatment will be provided on the same terms as for UK residents.

However, if visiting the UK on a visitor visa valid for 6 months or less, this care will not extend to routine, non-emergency treatment from a GP or dentist. You will normally have to pay for these services, as well as a charge for any medicines you need. If you have come to the UK specifically for medical treatment you will have to pay for it. 

The New Zealand Government recommends that travellers hold comprehensive travel insurance, including health insurance.

Living in the UK

If you live permanently in the UK, work in the UK, or are studying in the UK for more than 6 months, you are eligible to the full range of treatments available to UK citizens under the National Health Service (NHS). These are generally free of charge although there are some charges for medicines, dental treatment, glasses and some medical appliances.

Additional information on the UK health system can be found on the the Department of Health website.  

In order to access these services you will need to register with an NHS General Practitioner. You can approach any of these and ask to be registered on their list for NHS treatment.

Please note that from the 6th of April 2015 the UK government is introducing an NHS surcharge for migrants from outside the European Economic Area. 

New Zealanders are exempt from this surcharge.  However, those applying for UK visas will still need to get a “surcharge reference number” from the surcharge website in order to complete their application. 

More information on this process can be found here.

Who to contact

If you need medical advice quickly and it's not an emergency, call 111.   Information about the NHS, including locations, services, and symptoms, can be found on the NHS website.

For any life-threatening emergency please call 999.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health provides further information on the reciprocal agreement with the UK.  

Of interest

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