APPLICATIONS FROM OVERSEAS VISITORS
Who can Register for Free Primary Care Services?
A patient does not need to be “ordinarily resident” in the country to be eligible for NHS primary care – in effect, therefore, anybody in Scotland may register and consult with a GP without charge.
Where a GP refers a patient for secondary care services (hospital or other community services) they should do so on clinical grounds alone; eligibility for free care must be assessed by the receiving organisation. It is not the responsibility of primary care services to check the eligibility of patients for charging in secondary care settings.
A patient’s nationality is therefore not relevant in giving people entitlement to register as NHS patients for primary medical care services.
All asylum seekers and refugees (including refused asylum seekers and those with no recourse to public funds), overseas visitors, students, people on work visas and those who are homeless, whether lawfully in the UK or not are eligible to register with a GP practice even if those visitors are not eligible for free secondary care (hospital care) services.
Primary Care Services are not subject to the charging regulations other than certain dental and optical services.