NHS Refund


The EU Directive on cross-border healthcare became UK law in October 2013.

The EU Directive gives all NHS patients the right to travel abroad for their needed surgery procedure and to apply for reimbursement from the NHS.

It covers both treatment given by private hospitals abroad and also state run hospitals.

Patients have to pay the costs upfront for their medical treatment abroad, however they can claim reimbursement when they return to the UK after the surgery procedure, up to the amount the treatment would have cost under the NHS.

EU Directive Eligibility Criteria

Patients have to meet the following criteria to be eligible for funding under the EU Directive:

  • Patients must be a resident in England
  • Patients can't apply for funding outside the EU or the EEA
  • Evidence of the patient’s medical need must be provided
  • The treatment must also be available to the patient under the NHS
  • Reimbursement will be limited to the cost of the same treatment under the NHS

How to apply for a refund from the NHS for your medical treatment costs

To apply for reimbursement of your medical costs after you have returned from having your medical treatment abroad, you will need to complete an application form and to send this to NHS England together with original receipts and proof of payment.

The application form can be supplied to you by Operations Abroad Worldwide upon request.

It can take up to 20 working days for an application to be processed and a decision to be made.

However, it may take longer if your application is not complete and additional information is required.

If your application is approved, the reimbursement itself can take an additional 30 working days to be processed.