Health & insurance
Before You Go
- If you're an EU citizen, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – available from health centres or, in the UK, post offices – covers you for urgent medical treatment, including pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care. However, it will not cover costs such as being flown back home in an emergency, so private travel insurance will also be needed.
- Citizens from non-EU countries should find out if there is a reciprocal arrangement for free medical care between their country and the UK.
- If you do need health insurance, make sure you get a policy that covers you for the worst possible scenarios, including emergency flights home.
No vaccinations are required to travel to Britain. For more information, check with your medical provider in your own country before you travel.
Availability & Cost of Healthcare
- Quality medical treatment is widely available at National Health Service (NHS) hospitals throughout the country, and (much more expensively) through private medical practices.
- Chemists (pharmacies) can advise on minor ailments such as sore throats and earaches. In large cities, there's always at least one 24-hour chemist.
- For medical advice that is not an emergency you can call the NHS 111 service (phone 111).
The tap water is safe to drink.