Free or Paid Services

Everyone has the right to register with a GP and receive free ‘primary care’ regardless of immigration status. Primary care also includes dentists, pharmacies and optometrists (where you can get your eyesight tested).

You may need to fill in a HC1 form to get free dental care, free prescription and free eye test. If you need help with this, contact Doctors of the World (details below).

The following services should always be free:

  • Treatment given in Accident and Emergency
  • Diagnosis and treatment of specific infectious diseases and sexually transmitted infections (e.g. Tuberculosis, HIV)
  • Family planning (contraception and advice, but not termination of pregnancy)
  • Services provided as part of the NHS 111 telephone advice line
  • Health visitors and school nurses.

Refugees and asylum seekers are entitled to free hospital care, but refused asylum seekers and undocumented migrants may be charged.

You should not be charged for healthcare regardless of immigration status if you are:

  • A victim of trafficking or modern slavery
  • In need of treatment for conditions caused by torture, female genital mutilation, domestic violence, or sexual violence
  • A refused asylum seeker receiving asylum support
  • Supported by a local authority under the Care Act 2014
  • In immigration detention
  • A child under the care of a local authority
  • Receiving treatment under the Mental Health Act.

Service Name Is it free or do I need to pay? Useful Links
Pharmacy Paid *
GP Free
Dentist Paid *
Optometrists Paid *
Hospital Care (excluding accident and emergency) Paid **
Maternity Services Paid **
NHS 111 telephone advice line Free
Health Visitors Free
School Nurse Free
Family Planning Free
Diagnosis and treatment of specific infectious diseases and sexually transmitted infections Free
Treatment given in Accident and Emergency Free
Mental Health Free **

*Prescription charges and charges for dental or optometrist care apply to some groups of migrants (but not asylum seekers or refugees). However, there are a number of exemptions from these charges, related to age, medical conditions, in some cases pregnancy and for people on low incomes.

You may need to fill in a HC1 form to get free dental care, free prescription and a free eye test.

If you need help with this, contact Doctors of the World:
Doctors of the World Clinic advice line: 020 7515 7534

Doctors of the World can also help if a GP practice refuses to register you without address, if you are worried about a hospital bill or debt, if a hospital is refusing to treat you without payment.

You can also seek advice from Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre or Citizen’s Advice.

**Charges for maternity services, and non-emergency hospital and mental health care apply to some groups of migrants (but not asylum seekers or refugees). However, immediately necessary and urgent treatment must always be given. Please see pages 19/20 of https://migrantsrights.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Hostile-Environment-WEB-1.pdf

Please also see: https://migrant.health/resources/fact_sheets/entitlement-to-secondary-care

Doctors of the World can help if you are worried about a hospital bill or debt, if a hospital is refusing to treat you without payment.
Doctors of the World Clinic advice line: 020 7515 7534

You can also seek advice from Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre or Citizen’s Advice.