google-site-verification: google539ba6de9e478725.html
top of page
  • Writer's pictureGreen Circle Travel

The Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

The Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) is the replacement for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) post-Brexit. This means you will continue to receive free or discounted medical care when you are visiting the EU.

If you have an existing EHIC, it will remain valid until the expiry date on the card.

You can apply for a new card up to 6 months before your current card expires.


It’s currently taking longer than usual to process new UK EHIC and GHIC applications due to high demand. Please apply well in advance of your trip

Where you can use your card

You can use a UK GHIC or existing EHIC while visiting:

  • an EU country

  • Switzerland (only UK nationals, Swiss nationals and EU citizens)

A UK GHIC may become valid in more countries in the future. Check this page before you travel.

You can only use a UK GHIC in Switzerland if you're a UK national, a Swiss national, a citizen of an EU Member State, a refugee, a stateless person, or a family member, dependant or survivor of someone who holds one of these nationalities or statuses.

You may be asked for proof of your nationality or your status when using your UK GHIC in Switzerland.

How to use your card

You can use your card to access medically necessary state-provided healthcare when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland.

Medically necessary healthcare means healthcare that cannot reasonably wait until you come back to the UK. Whether treatment is necessary is decided by the healthcare provider in the country you're visiting.

Medically necessary healthcare includes things like:

  • emergency treatment and visits to A&E

  • treatment for a long-term or pre-existing medical condition

  • routine medical care for pre-existing conditions that need monitoring

  • routine maternity care, as long as you're not going abroad to give birth

  • oxygen therapy and kidney dialysis

You'll need to pre-arrange some treatments with the relevant healthcare provider in the country you're visiting – for example, kidney dialysis or chemotherapy.

Check the Foreign Office country guides on GOV.UK for information on how to access treatment in the country you’re visiting

Not all state healthcare is free within the EU and Switzerland and so you may have to pay for services that you would get for free on the NHS.


Your EHIC or GHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance. It may not cover all health costs and never covers repatriation costs. Make sure you have travel insurance as well as your card.

For further information check the NHS Website

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page