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Free Nhs Care

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what advice his Department gives to those embarking on gap years abroad on the effect that their absence from the UK will have on their entitlement to claim free NHS care on return to the UK; [130187](2) what discussions his Department has had with

(a) student organisations and (b) representatives of the travel industry about advice offered to gap year students on the availability of free NHS provision when students return from an extended trip outside the UK. [130188]

[holding answer 16 September 2003]: Students who choose to spend some time abroad before starting a university degree course remain fully entitled to free National Health Service treatment as soon as they return to take up permanent residence in the United Kingdom. This advice is given to anyone who enquires on the subject, but there have been no specific discussions with the bodies mentioned.