Entitlement to free National Health Service care is principally based on being ‘ordinarily resident’ in the United Kingdom. Broadly, this means living here on a lawful and properly settled basis for the time being, with non-European Economic Area nationals subject to immigration control also being required to have an immigration status of ‘indefinite leave to remain’. It is not based on nationality.
A person not ordinarily resident in the UK is an ‘overseas visitor’ for the purposes of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations (the ‘Charging Regulations’).
The national guidance sets out that those patients who are identified as chargeable must be charged using either the national tariff or a locally agreed tariff if there is no national tariff for the treatment or service provided.
If and when it is established that charges apply, the NHS body must inform the patient and present them with an invoice for the treatment they have received or an estimation of the charges they are liable for in respect of any future treatment.