Overseas Visitors

Interpretation and Translation Services at Sath

Are you visiting the United Kingdom? Did you know that you may have to pay for hospital treatment whilst here?

Hospital treatment is free to people who live in the United Kingdom (UK). If you do not normally live here and you do not meet one of the exemptions from charges then you will have to pay for any treatment you might need. This is regardless of whether you are a British citizen or have lived or worked here in the past or have issued a HC2 certificate.

If you are not covered by any of the exemption categories listed below, it is advisable to ensure you have adequate health insurance to cover the duration of your stay in the UK.

Interpretation and Translation Services

Are you or a member of your family a non-English speaker? Are you coming into hospital for an out-patient appointment? Do you have any concerns about not being able to understand or translate the consultant?

Please do not worry. Just contact your appointments team at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital or at the Princess Royal Hospital with the number on your appointment letter.

If you do not get a response then please try telephoning the main switchboard at either the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on 01743 261000 or the Princess Royal Hospital on 01952 641222.

They will arrange for a suitable interpreter or translator to assist with your appointment either face to face or by telephone.

Please let us know if we can help you.

Key Info

This information is a general guide and not a full statement of the current regulations. Please ask at the hospital providing treatment for further information or visit the NHS Website.

For information about treatment of overseas visitors at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital please contact:

Tel: 01743 261000 ext 1489

For information about treatment of overseas visitors at Princess Royal Hospital please contact:

Tel: 01952 641222 ext. 4220

Questions To Ask At Your Appointment

Questions to ask – Arabic
Questions to ask – Bulgarian 
Questions to ask – English
Questions to ask – Lithuanian
Questions to ask – Polish
Questions to ask – Romanian

Frequently Asked Questions

The law says that the hospital providing treatment must decide if each patient is entitled to free NHS hospital treatment. The hospital will ask you to provide evidence to confirm your eligibility. If the hospital decides you can receive free NHS treatment, you will have to pay for statutory NHS charges such as prescription charges unless you are otherwise exempt. If the hospital decides you are not entitled to free NHS treatment, charges will apply and cannot be set aside. This will include the full cost of any prescribed medication even if you are in possession of a HC2 exemption certificate.

The full cost of all treatment you receive, including emergency treatment, given by staff at a hospital or by staff employed by a hospital. There are some services that are free of charge to everyone. This includes treatment given only in an Accident and Emergency Department or in an NHS walk-in centre providing services similar to those of an A&E Department (excludes emergency treatment given elsewhere in the hospital). Treatment for certain infectious diseases. Compulsory psychiatric treatment and family planning services.

  • Anyone who is working in the UK for an employer who is based in the UK or is registered in the UK as a branch of an overseas employer (this includes self-employed people). You must be actually working and not just looking for work.
  • Any unpaid worker with a voluntary organisation offering services similar to those of a Health Authority or Local Authority social services department.
  • Any full time student on a course of at least 6 months duration or, if less than 6 months, is substantially funded by the UK government.
  • Anyone who has come to live permanently in the UK. If you make an application for permanent residence after you get here, you are chargeable until your application is approved.
  • Anyone who has been lawfully living in the UK for 12 months immediately prior to treatment.
  • Refugees and asylum seekers whose application is still being considered.
  • Anyone employed on a ship or vessel registered in the UK or working offshore on the UK sector of the Continental Shelf.
  • Anyone who receives a UK war disablement pension or war widows pension.
  • Diplomatic staff working at embassies or Commonwealth High Commissions in the UK.
  • Members of Her Majesties UK armed forces.
  • UK Civil Servants working abroad for the British Council or Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
  • Anyone who is working abroad in a job financed in part by the UK Government in agreement with the Government or a public body of some other country or territory.
  • Anyone working abroad for not more than 5 years as long as they have lived legally in the UK for 10 continuous years at some point (including self-employed people).
  • Anyone working in an EEA member state and contributing compulsory (not voluntary) UK national insurance contributions (class I or II).
  • Anyone who is a national of an EEA member state, a refugee, or stateless person or their dependent or survivor living in an EEA member state who is referred to the UK for specified treatment with an EC form E112 or E123.
  • Anyone who is referred by their home country authorities for specified treatment in the UK under the terms of a bilateral agreement.
  • Anyone who is detained in prison or by the Immigration Authorities in the UK.
  • Serving NATO personnel, posted in the UK, who are not using their own or UK armed forces hospitals.
  • UK state pensioners who have lived legally in the UK for 10 continuous years at some point, who now live for not more than 6 months each year in another EEA member state and not less than 6 months each year in the UK.
  • The husband or wife and any dependent children of anyone who is exempt under the above criteria, if they are living permanently with an exempt person. Coming to visit for a few weeks or months does not give exemption.
  • People entitled to some NHS hospital treatment – this is limited to treatment required for any condition that occurred after arrival in the UK.
  • Anyone, including a refugee, stateless person or a member of the family of any of them, who normally lives in another EEA member state but is visiting the UK.
  • Anyone, or the spouse or child of anyone, receiving a UK state pension who has either lived legally in the UK for 10 continuous years at some time or has worked as a UK Civil Servant for at least 10 continuous years.
  • Anyone, or the spouse or child of anyone, who is a national of a country that has signed the European Social Charter but is not entitled to be provided with services under a bilateral agreement (currently Turkey and areas of Cyprus not covered under the EEA arrangements) and is genuinely without the means to pay for their treatment.
  • Anyone, or the spouse or child of anyone, who has lived legally in the UK for 10 continuous years at some point but who is now living in another EEA member state or in certain other countries with which the UK has a bilateral healthcare agreement.
  • Anyone who is entitled to receive industrial injury benefit from Israel if the treatment is in connection with the industrial injury.
  • Anyone living in a country with which the UK has a bilateral healthcare agreement (some bilateral healthcare agreements are limited to nationals of that country).
    • Bilateral healthcare agreement countries
      • European Economic Area countries (EEA):
        Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Switzerland by special arrangements.
      • Nationals and UK nationals of the following countries:
        Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Gibraltar, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Macedonia, Moldova, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Yugoslavia, (i.e. Serbia and Montenegro).
      • Residents, irrespective if nationality, of the following countries:
        Anguilla, Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Channel Islands, Falkland Islands, Iceland, Isle of Man, Montserrat, St Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands.

Any contributions made are for the personal benefit of the contributor only. Visiting relatives do not qualify for these benefits.

If you have permanently left the country, i.e. emigrated, you waive all rights to free NHS treatment.

The hospital will advise you of charges according to the treatment / procedures you require. This varies on a case-to-case basis.

Having a British passport does not, in itself, make a patient exempt. Other criteria discussed in the Overseas Visitors Guidelines need to be satisfied.

NHS Medical Cards only entitle the holder to free Primary (GP etc.) care.

If a patient states that they cannot afford to pay for their treatment, the Finance Department can offer arrangements for the patient to pay in installments.

A signature is not needed to make the charges legally valid.

You are being interviewed with regard to your Overseas Visitor status because the Ward / Clinic informed me that you are an Overseas Visitor. Anyone coming into the hospital who has not been resident in this country for the past 12 months has to be interviewed as stipulated by the Department of Health. This is to establish whether you are liable for charges for the treatment you receive. I will be asking you a few questions and assessing whether you are liable or exempt from the answers you give me.