Ukrainians fleeing war get free access to NHS healthcare

  • The changes that come into effect today (Thursday, March 17) will also cover any processing that has taken place since the start of the Russian invasion.
  • The UK remains the second largest humanitarian donor to Ukraine and has provided more than 1.8 million medical supplies to the country.

From today, Ukrainians fleeing their home country will be guaranteed free access to NHS healthcare, including hospital services, GP and nurse consultations, residential care centers emergency and injury treatment units.

As part of the UK’s offer to Ukrainians coming to the UK, we are committed to providing full access to a range of public services, including doctors, schools and full support from local authorities. They will also be offered Covid vaccines and medical screenings. New legislation introduced today will ensure that Ukrainians who are legally in the UK can access the NHS on the same basis as other UK residents.

Beneficiaries will include any Ukrainian who:

  • uses an alternative temporary visa route outside of family or sponsorship routes;
  • is on a family or sponsored route to England
  • chooses to temporarily extend their visitor or seasonal worker visa, without going through the immigration health surcharge system; Where
  • is changing visa

The changes, made to the regulations set out today, cover any NHS treatment that started on or after February 24, 2022, when the large-scale Russian invasion began, providing support to as many people as possible .

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:

It is our moral duty to ensure that any Ukrainian arriving in England, having been driven from their home country by the Russian invasion, can access the healthcare they may need, without worrying about the cost .

We have acted quickly to provide substantial humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, and we stand with our international partners. Those in need of care will be looked after by our amazing NHS staff as we welcome them to this country.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

The people of Ukraine face unimaginable suffering and trauma at the hands of Putin’s barbaric regime.

We are providing safe haven for some of these people and as soon as they arrive in England they will be able to access the support they need, including healthcare, education, benefits and the right to work, which will help to provide some stability in a difficult context. time.

These changes are part of the government’s broader humanitarian response to the Ukrainian crisis. The UK government has now delivered more than 1.8 million medical items, including wound care kits, critical care equipment and lifesaving medicines.

On Monday, 21 Ukrainian children with cancer were evacuated to England and have since been triaged in seven NHS hospitals where they are receiving life-saving treatment.

Over 6,100 visas have been granted through the Ukraine Family Scheme and, for those with a valid Ukrainian passport, the government has removed the need to attend an in-person appointment to complete biometric checks before to travel to the UK.

Since Monday, people in the UK have been able to express interest in sponsoring a nominated Ukrainian under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, with more than 150,000 people registering.

The government has provided £400 million in humanitarian and economic aid to Ukraine and neighboring countries, as well as anti-tank and anti-aircraft defensive weapons.


  • The exemption regulations are to be reviewed in six months.
  • Details of the NHS migrant billing policy can be found here: NHS rights: guide to migrant health.
  • Undocumented Ukrainian residents in the UK are not covered by these measures. The government is clear, however, that urgent care will not be refused – even where the visitor has indicated they cannot pay.
  • Free healthcare for people accompanying medical evacuees to the UK for treatment will be limited to needs that arise during their stay – pre-existing conditions that worsen and those that develop in the UK.

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