By law, the NHS ceases to have responsibility for the medical care of their patients when they leave the UK. People travelling within Europe are advised to carry an authorised European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) at all times and this gives entitlement to reduced cost (and sometimes free) medical treatment. Patients should be advised to check specific entitlements prior to travel.
- For patients who will be out of the country for less than 3 months, it is reasonable to provide sufficient medicines for an existing condition (i.e. asthma, diabetes)
- For patients leaving the country for more than 3 months, they should be advised to register with a local doctor for their continuing medical needs. It is reasonable for GPs to provide sufficient medication to give patients time to do this.
For more information on European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) please go to https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-uk-global-health-insurance-card-ghic.
GPs are not required by their Terms of Service to provide prescriptions for the treatment of a condition that is not present and may arise while the patient is abroad. Persons who have left the UK, or who are intending to leave the UK, for more than 3 months are not normally allowed to continue to be registered with a practice.
It is recommended that you review your medication requirements prior to travel. It is also important that you review your own medical requirements and to seek appropriate travel insurance cover, as and when required.
Prescriptions for patients travelling out of the country
The NHS accepts responsibility for supplying ongoing medication for temporary periods abroad of up to 3 months. If a person is going to be abroad for more than three months then all that the patient is entitled to at NHS expense is a sufficient supply of his/her regular medication in order to get to their destination, where they should then find an alternative supply of that medication.
For more information on taking medicine abroad, please go to https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/medicines/can-i-take-my-medicine-abroad.
Patients are advised to check the Gov.UK website for the most up to date details on the COVID Pass.
Other Travel Vaccinations & Requirements
It is also advised to check other travel vaccinations and requirements for the country you are intending to travel to. Each country will have its own criteria. For more information, see Gov.UK Travel Abroad.
To arrange a travel clinic consultation, please refer to the Travel Clinic page.
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