The National Health Service (NHS) is the main healthcare provider in the UK.
NHS treatment is free for UK residents. Overseas nationals are not eligible for free NHS treatment except if they need emergency treatment while in the UK. You are strongly advised to take out travel insurance to cover any medical expenses.
If you come from a country that holds a UK healthcare agreement, you are entitled to free or reduced-cost medical treatment if needed immediately for a condition that started after your arrival in the UK.
If you're visiting from Europe, you need to carry a valid EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) in case you need immediate and necessary medical treatment in an NHS hospital. Without this you can be charged for treatment.
Travel insurance is still advisable as it offers greater flexibility over where and how you're treated, and can cover expenses not paid for by the NHS.
Find out more on the Department of Health website
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