NHS Fraud Reference Guide - Overseas patients

This relates to patients from Overseas using NHS services without paying OR using Health Services abroad and charging costs to the NHS.

Types of fraud involving this category


Secondary care

This relates to the payment/charges for patients from overseas for hospital or specialist treatment. NOTE: this category is not for frontline services like A & E and GP services.

NHS staff facilitation

This relates to NHS staff who are deliberately facilitating patients from overseas to seek care on the NHS without paying.

NHS billing

This relates to NHS trusts billing the NHS for the treatment of known chargeable patients.

Primary care

This relates to the dishonest charging or the deliberate failure to charge overseas patients for treatment received at a general practice. NOTE: Overseas visitors can legitimately access certain services without charge.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

This relates to the dishonest obtaining or use of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). NOTE: Overseas visitors can legitimately access certain services without charge.

False application

This relates to someone who has intentionally made a fraudulent application for an European Health Insurance Card.

False use

This relates to someone using an European Health Insurance Card who has no entitlement to do so.

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Fraud costs the NHS £1.27 billion each year.

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