Organising planned medical treatment abroad
UK decision to invoke Article 50 of the TEU: More information
For the time being, the United Kingdom remains a full member of the EU and rights and obligations continue to fully apply in and to the UK:
You have the right to organise medical treatment , such as consultation with a specialist, surgery or treatment for a specific condition, in another EU country on the same terms and at the same cost as people living in that country.
However, some countries may restrict access to certain types of healthcare abroad (e.g hospital treatment or highly specialised and expensive treatment). You will also usually need prior authorisation from your health insurer before you organise your medical treatment abroad.
Depending on the type of treatment you need and the rules in your country, you may be able to get some or all of your costs covered. Read more about expenses and reimbursements for your planned medical treatment.
How to organise your treatment abroad
1. Check your health cover
Before you go abroad for medical treatment, you will need to:
- check whether the treatment is among the benefits that you're entitled to at home
- check if you need prior authorisation from your health insurer (authorisation is required for hospital treatment in most cases)
- check if the cost of your treatment will be reimbursed and, if so, check the reimbursement rate
2. Find a place to get your treatment
You will need to find a healthcare provider (hospital, medical establishment, etc) offering the treatment you need in another EU country. To do this, you can:
- ask your local health insurer
- ask your National Contact Point for planned medical treatment in your home counntry or in the country where you are considering treatment
- find a provider yourself directly
Be aware that healthcare systems in other EU countries may not work in the same way as healthcare in your home country.
Check with your National Contact Point and health insurer before organising your treatment
Aurélie lives in France. She needs to undergo surgery and finds a specialist clinic in Luxembourg, where her parents live. She finds a suitable specialist at a public hospital near her parents' house, but isn't certain how to go about organising her treatment there.
Aurélie calls the National Contact Point in France and her local health insurance institution. They give her all the information she needs to apply for prior authorisation and Aurélie completes the required form. If she receives authorisation, she can then arrange her treatment directly at the hospital in Luxembourg.