Decorative image

Having cancer treatment abroad

You might want to go abroad to have cancer treatment. Find out what NHS funding options you have.

Why do people go abroad for treatment

You might want to go to a European Economic Area (EEA) country or to Switzerland to get medical treatment.

This could be because you’re waiting too long for an operation (or other treatment) in the UK and you could have it done sooner abroad.

It will be your responsibility to arrange the treatment. But talk through your plans with your doctor first. They can direct you to your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The CCG can explain your funding options and which one would suit you best.


There are two options for NHS funding: the S2 form and the EU Directive on cross border healthcare (Article 56).

The S2 form

This replaces the old E112 form. It lets you have treatment in any EEA country under the same conditions of care and payment as that country’s residents.

You must be entitled to have this treatment on the NHS. And your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has to agree to fund this treatment.

You’ll need a letter from your NHS consultant confirming that you need the treatment and stating why you should receive it in the other country.

In some EEA countries, you might need to contribute to the cost. But you may be able to claim the money back afterwards.

The EU Directive (Article 56)

This might allow you to claim back some or all the costs of planned medical treatment in the EEA. The treatment must be available on the NHS.

There’s no guarantee that you will get funding. Always check this first with your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). You will usually need to pay the treatment costs upfront.

Unlike the S2 form, you may be able to claim towards private or state funded treatment. But you can only claim back the amount the treatment would have cost on the NHS.

Your CCG can work out the amount that you could claim and advise you further.

Information and help

Dangoor sponsorship

About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.