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 Free *
GP Free
Dentist Free *
Optometrists Free *
Hospital Care (excluding accident and emergency) Free
Maternity Services Free **
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 ***

*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.


**Please contact Maternity Action regarding queries about access to maternity care:
Advice line: 0808 800 0041 (Freephone)
Thursdays 10am–12 midday only

***Mental Health Services are not free if you are a failed asylum seeker, unless you fit into one of the exemptions - 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.
However, urgent necessary care should always be given.


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