Do you know that you can get referred to a Norwegian hospital and be funded by the NHS or by your private insurance?

By Françoise Call, Member of the NBCC


NHS funding

There are two ways to be funded by the NHS for treatment abroad: from the patient’s initiative, or from the NHS initiative.

You, the patient, take the initiative:

1/ the S2 route (from the name of the form that the patient has to fill to apply for this facility)

This is an individual agreement between a patient and the NHS to fund treatment abroad for a number of qualifying reasons in an EEA country and Switzerland. Here are a few:

  • Long waiting list;
  • The patient will pay the same co-payment charge as the local residents of that country but will be able to claim this back in the UK;
  • The treatment has to be pre-approved by NHS England.

2/ the EU directive on cross border care route, backed by a decision of the European Court of Justice

  • The arrangement is again between the patient and the NHS;
  • All the costs are paid upfront by the patient and then claimed back

All cases are decided on individual merits and there might other reasons than those spelt out than could be considered positively.

The NHS takes the initiative:

Some Clinical Commissioning Groups (part of the NHS) are making deals with hospitals abroad in orde r to get some operations done quicker for their patients. Check with your CCG. Your GP might not be aware of it.

Private health insurance

If you have a private health insurance and you would like to be treated in Norway, just having family next to you for recovery could be a good enough reason.