Health Services: Immigrants

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 14th September 2020.

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Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance the NHS issues to people with settled status on providing documentary evidence to prove that they are entitled to free NHS treatment.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

European Economic Area (EEA)/Swiss citizens do not require confirmation of settled/pre-settled status to access National Health Service care. Settled/pre-settled status is an immigration status related to the European Union Settlement Scheme, securing an individual’s rights under the Withdrawal Agreement to reside in the United Kingdom beyond 2020.

Access to free NHS secondary care is entirely based on being ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK. Being ordinarily resident means, broadly, living in the UK on a lawful and properly settled basis for the time being, with non-EEA nationals who are subject to immigration control also required to have an immigration status of ‘indefinite leave to remain’. From 2021, the new global immigration system will apply the same requirements to migrants from the EEA and Switzerland.

Where a patient’s ordinarily resident status is not known, it will be for the NHS organisation that provides the treatment to assess this, based on the evidence of lawful, settled residence the patient provides.

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