Reciprocal Agreement

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New Zealand has a reciprocal healthcare agreement (external link) with the United Kingdom for the provision of urgent medical treatment for emergency conditions that occur while in the UK. The agreement covers anyone who is ordinarily a resident and a citizen of New Zealand – regardless of nationality – and treatment will be provided on the same terms as for UK residents.

This agreement remains in place, but New Zealanders staying in the UK on a visa for more than six months will be required to pay an immigration health surcharge as part of their visa application from 6 April 2016. Please visit www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration (external link) for further information.  

New Zealanders are further advised that if visiting the UK on a visitor visa valid for 6 months or less, this National Health Service care will not extend to routine, non-emergency treatment from a GP or dentist. You will normally have to pay for these services, as well as a charge for any medicines you need. If you have come to the UK specifically for medical treatment you will have to pay for it. 

The New Zealand Government recommends that travellers hold comprehensive travel insurance, including health insurance.

Living in the UK

If you live permanently in the UK, work in the UK, or are studying in the UK for more than 6 months, you are eligible to the full range of treatments available to UK citizens under the National Health Service (NHS) (external link). These are generally free of charge at point of delivery, although there are some charges for medicines, dental treatment, glasses and some medical appliances.

However, New Zealanders staying in the UK on a visa for more than six months are advised that they will be required to pay an immigration health surcharge as part of their visa application from 6 April 2016. This surcharge is intended to recover some of the costs associated with migrants access to the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. Please visit www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration (external link) for further information.

Additional information on the UK health system can be found on the Department of Health website (external link). In order to access these services you will need to register with an NHS General Practitioner.

You can approach any of these and ask to be registered on their list for NHS treatment.

Who to contact

Visit the NHS (external link) website or if you need medical advice quickly, and it's not an emergency, call 111.  Information about the NHS 111 service is here. (external link)

For any life-threatening emergency please call 999.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health (external link) provides further information on the reciprocal agreement with the UK (external link).