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Brits abroad could have rights to free NHS treatment restored
08 December 2013 @ 16:41

Expats could soon see access to the NHS based on their National Insurance contributions, not their country of residence.

Britions who live overseas for more than three months of the year currently lose their right to free health care at home, unless they have a medical emergency during a visit.

However, the government recently carried out a huge consultation into the NHS, suggesting that access to free treatment should be given to those who have made a fair contribution.

A fair contribution would constitute at least seven years of National Insurance contributions, under the proposals.

The current qualifying test for free treatment is whether a person is ordinarily resident. This is deemed to be unfair, as it is satisfied almost immediately by many new and temporary migrants, who may have contributed nothing.

This has angered many expats who have paid National Insurance (NI) all their lives before moving abroad, only to discover they have no access to NHS services for free.

The government’s decision to base NHS eligibility on NI contributions could be a lifeline for those who want to retire abroad, but are prevented from doing so because they cannot afford private medical care overseas.

Source: The Telegraph



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5 Comments


casalinda said:
11 December 2013 @ 18:56

If you are over retirement age and have your empadroniamiento in Spain, you are entitled to Spanish health care on the same basis as the NHS/Spanish retirees. Healthcare here is very good as far as I can tell (Andalucía) although I have never been an inpatient...why bother to go back to the UK when treatment is equivalent here?
I had my (free) annual bone scan in Granada today, everything went like clockwork, no waiting, and my monthly visits to Motril hospital are always pretty smooth. So long as you have a bit of Spanish to explain/understand what's going on, it's not a problem.


George Morley said:
21 December 2013 @ 04:33

"A government consultation suggested that access to free treatment should be given to those who have made a fair contribution".
That would seem to be the right conclusion and as I paid my N I contributions for at least 44 yrs then I would expect to get the full indexed pension using the same reasoning.
I think a new start on January 1st 2014 would be a perfect time to do it Mr Webb.


George Morley said:
21 December 2013 @ 04:40

Following my last comment, I intended to add that I live in Canada which is why my pension is frozen and like the other 560,000 ex-pat pensioners who suffer from this illogical unjust discriminatory policy, this is your next move Mr Webb.


Ian Spencer said:
11 February 2014 @ 22:25

The infamous Ryanair took probably hundreds of bookings for the summer period from Valencia to Malta and Malta to Valencia. Then later cancelled the whole of the summer schedule.
I wonder how many hundreds of passengers have had to re book or cancel altogether. Another case of Ryanair letting down hundreds of passengers because Ryanair simply don't really care about passengers only about making money. What a shame Ryanair can't cope with advanced scheduling of a whole summer of flights on a holiday route instead of letting passengers down badly.


johnw1 said:
03 February 2015 @ 06:46

Yes just wondering and can not find the answer to this very large consultation Brits abroad could have rights to free NHS treatment restored.
What was the result and due 2014 and see thes comments very old indeed. Thanks


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