NHS treatment back in the UK if resident in HH?

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OldBoyRacer
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NHS treatment back in the UK if resident in HH?

Post by OldBoyRacer » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:24 pm

Hello all,

apologies if i am asking all the usual newbie questions.

In my original post about buying land out here, someone mentioned about forfeiting the right to NHS treatments on leaving the UK.

This was a good point, and I have researched it, and one of the determinants for free care seems to be if one is of 'ordinary residence' in the UK...


Note: The gov.uk website advises that; “Ordinary Residence means, broadly, living in the UK on a lawful, voluntary and properly settled basis for the time being. A PERSON who is not Ordinarily Resident in this country at the time of treatment is not automatically entitled to NHS hospital treatment free of charge. A PERSON who is Ordinarily Resident is not subjected to this charging regime."


One document states there is no minimum or maximum length of stay, or type of property (owned or rented, family etc...) to meet the requirements.

It seems a bit vague.


Have any of you any experience of this, and hopefully non of us need to investigate in the future, but as someone said on my first post - EYES WIDE OPEN before committing to moving out here.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: NHS treatment back in the UK if resident in HH?

Post by Vital Spark » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:01 am

I haven't personally had any experience of going back to the UK for any treatment, but I do know somebody who has.

If you go back to the UK for hospital treatment, you have to provide evidence that you will be staying there and are not there as a 'medical tourist'. This involves registering with a GP and then getting whatever treatment you need, having permanent address, etc. My friend sent us a rather bizarre email saying that he was going to stay in the UK for the rest of his life. He may have needed this email, as well as other correspondence, as proof that he was returning to the UK for good. I don't really know. After a couple of years or so he had recovered from an extremely nasty operation, and is now back living in Thailand. It's a bit of a risk, and I don't know how he'll get on if the cancer returns. If he returns to the UK, they'll know that he's been out of the country and may ask him to pay for any treatment he may need.

It's a bit of a grey area, but the NHS is cash-strapped and they are clamping down on people (regardless if they have British citizenship) returning for free treatment.

It's certainly something to consider when moving out here, unless you can afford good medical insurance. This has been discussed in another thread.

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Re: NHS treatment back in the UK if resident in HH?

Post by HHTel » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:16 am

That's correct VS. I also have a friend who went back to the UK for treatment and he had to pay. If you return to the UK for permanent settlement then you are entitled to treatment from the NHS otherwise .... No.

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Re: NHS treatment back in the UK if resident in HH?

Post by Spitfire » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:14 am

What if you have an address in the UK, are registered there (and have been for a long time) with your UK driving license and current UK active bank accounts all matching up, have never registered with the "Locate" service at the BBK embassy etc. but have lived out here for a long time. Would that fly? Or do they really dig deep enough so that that wouldn't fool them?

Have these people that have tried this just gone back out-of-the-blue and turned up at a hospital with only their passport and no evidence of physical ties like addresses/drivers license etc.?

Technically, if you had all that and hadn't burned your bridges, then you could say that you spend time in the UK and elsewhere. Would they go all the way to check your passport at the UK Borders Office records?
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Re: NHS treatment back in the UK if resident in HH?

Post by buksida » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:30 am

Its a good question.

I think you need to have a UK address and to have been there for 3 months to be considered resident. Of course registering with a local GP is also mandatory.

OldBoyRacer, As others have said in other threads, don't burn your bridges with the UK, it is a guarantee that you will need or want to cross them again in the future.
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Re: NHS treatment back in the UK if resident in HH?

Post by oakdale160 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:32 am

A friend of mine went back to Canada, there, you have been away for a while, you have to be in the country for 6 months to get a Health Card. Although the date of arrival is in the Immigration computer he wanted his PP stamped. They agreed but the agent had to shout along the line of agents--Anyone have a stamp--they found one but it was dry and they had to find the ink for it. One thing about Thai they have lots of stamps.

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Re: NHS treatment back in the UK if resident in HH?

Post by REEM » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:44 am

After living in Thailand for 11 years we returned to the UK 3 years ago where we now spend 6 months a year. The other 6 months are spent in Thailand.

We now have a UK address and are registered with a GP there.

I have needed a couple of hospital consultations, arranged by my GP, and at each visit I am asked if I am resident in the UK with a British passport, my wife, who is Thai has also attended hospital there after referral from our GP and she was also asked if she was a UK resident with a British passport when she presented at the hospital.

No proof of residence was asked for, for either myself or my wife, the receptionist just entered the information on her screen, but I understand that in some areas of the country, hospitals are asking to see a EU passport or other proof of residence before consultations or treatment.

In this era of increasing documentation, regulation, limitation of entitlements and border controls, it would, in my opinion, be very foolhardy for UK citizens in Thailand to cut ones ties fully with the UK.

If one has family living there, it is quite easy to maintain a postal address, driving licence, bank account and a GP registration.

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Re: NHS treatment back in the UK if resident in HH?

Post by Big Boy » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:09 am

The GP registration is the one I have trouble with. Basically, my GP was not allowed to retain patients he had not seen within the last 6 months. I'm sure it was legislation that all GPs had to adhere to. The idea was to stop GPs claiming for patients they were not seeing/treating.

I think the problem occurred when people moved to a new GP and didn't cancel their old registration. This could happen multiple times and resulted in multiple GPs claiming for the same person.
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Re: NHS treatment back in the UK if resident in HH?

Post by Midsman » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:15 am

I have been living in Thailand 5.5 years now and go back once a year. I have under active thyroid. My GP on knowing that I was moving told me to come and see him for a blood test whenever I am in UK. This I do and he gives me a check up etc. I also see the nurse when I need any innoculations updating. She knows I live abroad too. I do have a English address and bank account..

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Re: NHS treatment back in the UK if resident in HH?

Post by Big Boy » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:24 am

Unfortunately, my GP always played it by the book. Maybe I should have found a less honest one before I left :D
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Re: NHS treatment back in the UK if resident in HH?

Post by STEVE G » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:19 am

Big Boy wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:09 am
The GP registration is the one I have trouble with. Basically, my GP was not allowed to retain patients he had not seen within the last 6 months. I'm sure it was legislation that all GPs had to adhere to. The idea was to stop GPs claiming for patients they were not seeing/treating.
That's a bit rough on those of us who are, fortunately, robust in health. I haven't visited a GP since 1993! No wonder the NHS has problems if healthy people have to go and see the doctor every six months for no reason.

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Re: NHS treatment back in the UK if resident in HH?

Post by GroveHillWanderer » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:27 am

Big Boy wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:09 am
The GP registration is the one I have trouble with. Basically, my GP was not allowed to retain patients he had not seen within the last 6 months. I'm sure it was legislation that all GPs had to adhere to. The idea was to stop GPs claiming for patients they were not seeing/treating.
I came across the same thing the last time I was home. The funny thing was, I didn't even want or need any treatment but there was a letter for me at my parent's address from the GP practice I'd been registered at for over 40 years, saying I should make an appointment to come in for some kind of test but when I called the number on the letter, they told me I was no longer registered. Maybe the letters were sent out to try and see if the people registered were still around or not but anyway, by the time I saw the letter and responded, they'd already removed my name.

Incidentally, as I understand it, just having a UK address and/or UK passport is not enough to be eligible for free NHS treatment. You have to be (and they're supposed to ask you if you are) residing or intending to reside in the UK permanently. I think it's done more or less on the honour system and if you tell them you're intending to remain in the UK they'll tend to believe you but according to the rules, even if you have a UK passport and mailing address, you're supposed to pay for treatment if you're not resident in the UK.

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Re: NHS treatment back in the UK if resident in HH?

Post by PET » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:02 pm

GroveHillWanderer wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:27 am
Incidentally, as I understand it, just having a UK address and/or UK passport is not enough to be eligible for free NHS treatment. You have to be (and they're supposed to ask you if you are) residing or intending to reside in the UK permanently. I think it's done more or less on the honour system and if you tell them you're intending to remain in the UK they'll tend to believe you but according to the rules, even if you have a UK passport and mailing address, you're supposed to pay for treatment if you're not resident in the UK.
GHW what you say about honour' system is how I understand it.

A friend of mine here was diagnosed with a serious illness and after spending loads of money in HH, was informed more was needed ( about bht800,000), I suggested he went back to the UK for a second opinion. His children lived there and so he went into a hospital near where his children lived, telling them that he had decided to return to live in UK permanently. He had a UK passport of course and a UK pension. He was accepted and then diagnosed with a terminal illness. He was given treatment and care until he passed away some 4 months later and all treatment and hospitalization was free.
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Re: NHS treatment back in the UK if resident in HH?

Post by Big Boy » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:24 pm

STEVE G wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:19 am
Big Boy wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:09 am
The GP registration is the one I have trouble with. Basically, my GP was not allowed to retain patients he had not seen within the last 6 months. I'm sure it was legislation that all GPs had to adhere to. The idea was to stop GPs claiming for patients they were not seeing/treating.
That's a bit rough on those of us who are, fortunately, robust in health. I haven't visited a GP since 1993! No wonder the NHS has problems if healthy people have to go and see the doctor every six months for no reason.
I agree 100%. You would have thought that computerisation would be able to check NI Numbers, and highlight any patients being claimed for multiple times.

With my GP I couldn't always get to see him at renewal time due to working away like you, and I had to phone with a good reason to get an extension.
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Re: NHS treatment back in the UK if resident in HH?

Post by Spitfire » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:00 pm

Considering the ridiculous people who they give welfare to in general in the UK, it's shocking that there are restrictions on any UK passport holders regarding this, as if you hold a real passport for the UK you should get it.

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