New reciprocal health agreement signed between the UK and Guernsey

British Health Minister, Maria Caulfield, and Guernsey's Chief Minister, Deputy Peter Ferbrache, signed the new deal in London. Credit: UK Department of Health and Social Care

People from Guernsey visiting the UK will once again be able to access free healthcare on the NHS from next year.

A new reciprocal healthcare agreement has been agreed between both governments and is due to come into force on 1 January 2023.

The last deal was scrapped in 2009 as it cost Guernsey around £500,000 to run each year.

But since then, islanders visiting the UK who need hospital treatment have been charged 150% of the cost to the NHS.

Guernsey's Chief Minister, Deputy Peter Ferbrache, and UK Health Minister Maria Caulfield signed the new deal in London today. He said:

“I’m very pleased to have today signed a new reciprocal health arrangement with the UK on behalf of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. It has been a priority for our community for some years, due to the social and economic links between the UK and the Islands of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm. 

“When it comes into effect early next year it will benefit both island residents and visitors from the UK, making travel easier whether it's for leisure, business or to see family and friends.”

Visitors to Guernsey who need urgent treatment will benefit, alongside islanders needing healthcare in the UK. Credit: ITV Channel TV

The deal allows access to free A&E treatment and urgent GP appointments for both UK and Guernsey residents in both countries.

People with pre-existing conditions - like kidney dialysis or chemotherapy - can also be treated under the scheme, but that will have to be arranged before they travel.

Guernsey's health service will also be able to refer patients to the NHS at a cost, granting access to vital treatments that aren't currently available on-island.

It's estimated that 200,000 UK visitors to the bailiwick will benefit from the new agreement when it comes into force, along with around 64,000 islanders if and when they visit England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.