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Seeking medical treatment in Europe

Planning to give birth outside the UK

If you want to give birth in another EEA country or Switzerland, you will need a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to cover you for routine medical care and an S2 (or E112) form to cover the birth itself.

Generally, you should contact your local PCT if you plan to have medical treatment in Europe. However, to apply for an S2 covering maternity care, you need to write to the Overseas Healthcare Team in Newcastle explaining why you want care outside the UK and enclosing the following information:

  • a maternity certificate (MATB1) or a letter from your UK GP or midwife showing your expected date of delivery
  • your NHS number or National Insurance number
  • your date of birth, your full UK address and dates of travel

Indicate whether you will be returning to the UK after you have given birth and whether you have already left the UK for the other country.

  • It is recommended that you have adequate travel insurance as the EHIC may not cover you for every situation.
  • Even if you plan to give birth in the UK and you're only going for a short trip abroad, you're advised to take a valid EHIC with you. The card will provide cover for all medical treatment linked to the birth if the baby is born unexpectedly.

Applicants resident in England, Scotland or Wales

If you're a resident of England, Scotland or Wales, you will need to send your application to:

Overseas Healthcare Team (Newcastle)
Room M0135
Durham House
Tyne & Wear
NE38 7SF

Tel: 0191 218 1999 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm)

Note: Medical Benefits administer the E112 system on behalf of the Department of Health.

Applicants resident in Northern Ireland

If you're a resident of Northern Ireland, you will need to send your application to:

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
General Medical Services Branch Room D3
Castle Buildings
Upper Newtownards Road
Belfast BT4 3SQ

Comments are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

InfoSeeker said on 06 January 2012

I went abroad to have my first child. I’d visited Thailand many times in the past and knew several people that had had medical treatment there. They were all satisfied and had paid a lot less money than they would have in Europe. I researched hospitals and found one that was in a quiet neighborhood with an OB-GYN who spoke perfect English and had studied medicine in London. My child was born underweight, so we had to extend our stay in Thailand. My husband spoke to a hospital representative that helped us extend our visa. We also spoke to a lawyer in Thailand to find out options about Thai permanent residency for our child. We definitely plan to be spending a lot of time there in the future, and we’ve told all our friends back in the UK about our surprisingly wonderful experience and how much money we saved.

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Last reviewed: 08/05/2012

Next review due: 08/05/2014

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