The UK government has come to an agreement with the EU. From Friday 1st January, people who travel from the UK to the EU (and EU travellers in the UK) will continue to receive medical treatment if they fall ill while abroad, but with some subtle differences in administration. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will be replaced by the UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). The new card is also free and application be completed via the NHS website.

Current EHIC holders will still have access to necessary healthcare in EU countries until the card's expiry date, at which point they will be able to apply for a GHIC.

The new card covers all emergency care and pre-planned treatments such as dialysis and chemotherapy. People who require pre-planned treatment during their trip to an EU country can arrange to have it paid for in advance, and should not have to pay upfront for treatment themselves.

Please note that only the EU27 countries are covered by this arrangement in its current form - not Schengen Area countries Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein. It is not yet clear what additional countries will be covered by GHIC in future, but they are likely to include countries such as Australia and New Zealand, with whom the UK already has reciprocal healthcare arrangements.

More information about healthcare while travelling to the EU can be found on Please do let us know if you have any questions or comments.