If you are an overseas visitor with HIV you might be worried that you cannot get NHS treatment. The rules about who can and who can’t get NHS treatment are complex, and often change.
Everyone is entitled to access to NHS primary care, including free care from a GP, whatever their immigration status. If you are having trouble registering with a GP or getting dental care, for example, you can contact THT Direct for help.
Even if your immigration status means that you are not normally eligible for free NHS hospital care, from October 2012, HIV treatment is provided free of charge to anyone who needs it. Treatment for some infectious diseases, including tuberculosis (TB) and hepatitis, is also free.
Hospitals must also give you essential treatment for any other condition that is ‘life threatening’. The doctors will decide what treatment is essential.
In this situation, the hospital may still ask you to pay later, but must first give you the medicines that you need. You cannot be refused essential treatment because you won’t be able to pay the bill. If a person has no income at all, the hospital may simply cancel the debt.
Download Will I have to pay? for further details or visit our immigration pages.
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This article was last reviewed on
Date due for the next review: 30/9/2014
Content Author: R. Pebody (NAM)
National Health Service (General Medical Services Contracts) Regulations 2004 NHS, 2004
The National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Amendment Regulations 2012
Various people discuss how they reacted when they found out they were HIV positive
CAB - Citizens Advice Bureau
George House Trust
Equality and Human Rights Commission
HIV Travel Insurance & Financial Services
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