UK health care

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: UK health care

Postby Kilkis » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:38 am

Useful article, Bob. With reference to the original question, the article linked by Bob contains the following statement:

Former UK residents who return there to settle will be eligible for free NHS care immediately, according to the spokesman.

That was also my understanding. The key words are "who return there to settle" so it is important that you make it clear that you have moved back to the UK to live. They are not entitled to free health care when visiting, except for UK state pensioners, see below.

Another statement made in the article, which is important regarding the discussion between Peebee and me, is:

UK state pensioners who live elsewhere in the EEA will now have the same rights to NHS care as people who live in England. This applies to all pensioners who receive a UK state retirement pension and are registered for health care in Europe with an S1 form.

What it does not make clear is the mechanism used to achieve this. Since the article refers to April 2015 it is possible that the mechanism has changed since I had discussions with DWP back in 2013/2014. Equally, I don't understand the use of the word "now". UK state pensioners, who are registered in a health care system elsewhere in the EU, could always get treatment in the UK when visiting using an EHIC card.

Warwick

Jeffstclair
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Location: The centre of the universe

Re: UK health care

Postby Jeffstclair » Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:12 am

That's puzzling filipos... I have a EHIC card that expired in 2009 .. and when I phoned the DWP back then I was told that a replacement could not be issued 'cos I don't live in the UK .... has this rule changed ..... EDIT sorry I just read a bit more of the posts so it's the being a state pensioner that gives you the access to the EHIC card ... is this correct ..jeff

Kilkis
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: UK health care

Postby Kilkis » Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:21 am

Correct. If you are registered with a health provider in another EU country, e.g. IKA* in Greece, by virtue of an S1 form, issued by DWP because you are a UK state pensioner, then you can apply to the DWP Overseas Healthcare Team for an EHIC card. See earlier post for contact details. If you are not registered in this way and live in another EU country then you do not qualify for an EHIC card.

Warwick

* I know I should really put EOPPY but IKA is easier to type, everybody knows what I mean and I can't get out of the habit.

Jeffstclair
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Re: UK health care

Postby Jeffstclair » Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:38 am

Thank's for that Warwick ..jeff...

scooby
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Location: Agia Nr Chania

Re: UK health care

Postby scooby » Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:47 am

Both me and wifey have EHIC cards. Ours had expired so went online and ordered two more in our "UK address". Arrived 1 week later and now expire 2018.
Men in suits will always make you pay.

Kilkis
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: UK health care

Postby Kilkis » Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:25 pm

That only works, Scooby, if you don't tell NHS that you have moved abroad and pretend you are still living in the UK. You cannot use that method to get an EHIC card if you have already told NHS that you have moved abroad and your medical records have been returned to the NHS centre.

You can use that EHIC card to get treatment in Greece, although technically you shouldn't. Since it is meant for emergency treatment while you are here on holiday you cannot use it to get long term ongoing treatment in Greece. Also you can't use it to get emergency treatment while you are visiting the UK. Obviously you would just go the the GP you are registered with near to the UK address you have used.

Warwick

BST
Posts: 434
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:29 pm

Re: UK health care

Postby BST » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:03 pm

Actually if you look at there Government EHIC guidelines there is no mention of "holiday" or "emergency treatment". The specification relates to "temporary" visit abroad but there is no definition of how long the temporary visit should be.Therefore if you haven't cancelled your UK NHS eligibility and in tend to return, you should be able to use the card for "reciprocal" treatment. The small print also states "if you need treatment before returning to the UK" your card is valid but not if you are abroad for the purpose of receiving medical treatment it isn't. You can also receive treatment for "existing" medical conditions.
From personal experience I have found the EHIC card to be very useful. I think whether it is accepted by hospitals in Greece etc is down to them and if they can be bothered to do the paperwork. However, it is guaranteed income if they do!

Kilkis
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: UK health care

Postby Kilkis » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:40 pm

You are correct that it doesn't use specific terms like holiday or emergency because it can be used quite validly in a wide range of circumstances. For example if a businessman, who needed regular medication, went to work for a short time in a foreign company and the trip was extended such that his medication ran out, then obtaining replacement medication would be a valid use. Trying to cover all examples is difficult.

What is clear is that it is not intended for use by people who live abroad permanently although many permanent residents do use it. Generally I think this type of use will work as long as it is unrelated one off treatments and they are not too often. One day you get an ear infection and get it treated. A few months later you get an infected insect bite and get that treated. I don't think anybody in the NHS is going to connect the dots when these treatments are billed back to the UK. I don't think anyone needing regular treatment for the same condition, however, would get away with it. If the NHS is being billed every week or every month over several months then I think they are going to join up the dots and withdraw the card.

Just my guess.

Warwick

Kilkis
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: UK health care

Postby Kilkis » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:15 am

The Guardian and other news outlets are reporting that patients who haven't visited their GP for five years will be removed from that GP's list. That may be an issue for ex-pats who maintain their UK GP registration in order to use a UK issued EHIC when they are in Greece. The GP will write to the patients first so it is important to ensure that your GP has a valid UK address, i.e. one within the GP's catchment area where the person living in the house will pass the letter on to you.

Warwick


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