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Temporary cover for emergency treatment abroad

If you do not have a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and need emergency treatment abroad, you can still get help with paying for your treatment.

A Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) will entitle you to the same level of cover as a UK GHIC or UK EHIC, even if you do not have your card with you. This also covers you if you’ve applied for a UK GHIC or UK EHIC and it has not arrived yet.

What is covered by a PRC

You can use a PRC to prove your entitlement to medically necessary healthcare if you travel abroad without your UK GHIC, new UK EHIC, or existing EHIC and need treatment during your visit. This will cover you for treatment that becomes medically necessary during your stay and cannot reasonably wait until you're back in the UK.

Medically necessary healthcare means 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, unless you're going abroad to give birth
  • oxygen therapy and kidney dialysis

If you’re eligible for a PRC, it will provide the same cover as what would normally be covered by an existing EHIC, UK GHIC or UK EHIC. This means that you’ll be covered for emergency treatment costs as if you were a resident of that country. Check where you can use each card.

For more information on what is covered in the country you're visiting, check the guidance on the GOV.UK website

What you’ll need to apply

You’ll need to contact us to apply for a PRC. You’ll need to provide your: 

  • name
  • address
  • date of birth
  • National Insurance number, if you know this

We'll also ask for details about where you have had medical treatment, including the:

  • name of the hospital, clinic, or treatment facility
  • email address for the hospital, clinic, or treatment facility, which can be provided by medical staff

You can also apply for a PRC on behalf of someone else. If you are, we’ll ask you for their details.

Apply for a PRC

To apply for a PRC by phone, contact us:

Telephone: 0191 218 1999 
Telephone from outside the UK: +44 191 218 1999
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm 
Find out about call charges

If you need a PRC outside of our opening hours, you should call as soon as possible the next working day.

If you have any questions about a PRC entitlement, you can email us at nhsbsa.ohsregistrations1@nhs.net.