The United Kingdom has reached an agreement with the Swiss Confederation to ensure that the rights of British and Swiss nationals living in Switzerland living in Switzerland and residing in Britain are maintained in a non-agreement scenario after the UK`s withdrawal from the EU on 31 October. This means that people insured in the UK who are residing in Switzerland at the time of Brexit will continue to have access to health care via their S1 form, as they currently do. Under the Common Travel Area (CTA), British citizens living in Ireland will have access to health care in Ireland on the same basis as Irish citizens, meaning they may have to contribute financially. The UK government is in deep discussions with the Irish government to reach an agreement that would allow for the ongoing mutual health agreements. British and Irish citizens living in Ireland will continue to have access to free health care while visiting the UK. This is independent of the circumstances in which the UK leaves the EU. If you visit one of the countries on this page and need urgent or immediate medical treatment, it is available at a reduced cost or, in some cases, free of charge. The EEA agreement expires on 31 December 2020 when the transition period ends under the EU withdrawal agreement. The UK government has not yet announced an agreement as of January 2021. Reciprocal health agreements exclude expatriates who, like any other patient, must pay for treatment or receive private medical care. For more information on services actually funded by the public sector, for which you would be eligible and how much they could cost, you should contact the consulates of those countries.
There are considerable differences. For example, ambulance services in Australia cannot be publicly funded and very expensive. Thousands of British expats complain that their public pensions in the UK do not keep up with the cost of living because they do not live in a country with a mutual agreement with the UK. If you plan to live or work in one of the countries of mutual agreement, the information contained in the links below may not apply. Britain has agreements with several countries on health care and social security, but the agreements are concluded by many Commonwealth states. The agreements do not cover the cost of returning a sick patient from abroad or foreign doctors in order to maintain the treatment of existing diseases. In October 2017, we published a series of blog posts in which patients and clinicians shared their experiences on how current mutual health plans work for them and the possible consequences if these rules no longer apply after Brexit.