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NHS: Overseas Workers

Volume 461: debated on Friday 15 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what provision there is for those UK citizens who are not ordinarily resident in the UK through undertaking long term charitable or aid work abroad to access NHS care in the UK. (141978)

Anyone who is not ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom is subject to the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989, as amended and will be liable for charges for any hospital treatment they receive unless they are exempt from charge under a number of exemption categories listed in these regulations.

One exemption category relates to people engaged in employment outside the UK for no more than five years. Another relates to anyone who is working overseas as a missionary for an organisation with its principal place of business in the UK, for any length of time and regardless of whether they derive a salary or wage from the organisation, or receive any type of funding or assistance from the organisation. We have no plans to extend that to other unpaid charitable or aid workers. Such people will be able to access national health service hospital treatment, but they will be liable for charges for it unless considered exempt under another category.