BMA guidance

Access to healthcare for overseas visitors

Doctors' roles and responsibilities when treating overseas visitors, particularly in regard to charging.

Location: England
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Monday 6 February 2023
Topics: Ethics
Justice scales article illustration

What you'll get from this guide

  • Guidance on overseas visitors' access to primary and secondary care
  • The doctor’s role in hospitals and other non-GP settings in relation to overseas visitors
  • What is urgent, non-urgent, and immediately necessary treatment?


How to use this guide

This guidance will provide you with the key legal and ethical considerations you need to take into account when navigating your roles and responsibilities when treating overseas visitors. It will also signpost to other sources of support and information. It is not a set of rules or instructions, or a substitute for careful reflection and discussion with colleagues.

You can seek additional advice on specific dilemmas from the BMA’s medical ethics and human rights department, the GMC, or your medical defence organisation.