Ukrainians will be guaranteed free access to NHS healthcare including GP appointments, urgent care centres, and hospitals, the Government has confirmed.
The free care will be backdated to the 24 February 2022 – the date the Russian invasion of Ukraine began – and will cover anyone in the UK lawfully including those with a temporary or extended visa or here through family or other sponsorship.
Changes to legislation which came into force on the 17 March will also ensure free access to Covid vaccination and medical screening, health secretary Sajid Javid said.
Some 10,200 visas have been granted so far through the Ukraine Family Scheme, the Government said.
‘It’s our moral duty to ensure any Ukrainian arriving in England, after being forced out of their home country by the Russian invasion, is able to access the healthcare they might need, without worrying about the cost,’ said Mr Javid.
The NHS had previously reminded GPs that proof of ID is not needed to register with a practice.
It comes as the Government said more than 3.7 million items of medical supplies have been donated by the UK to Ukraine, including medicines, wound packs, bandages, FFP3 masks and intensive care equipment.
The 11th flight of medical supplies left on Monday, which included packs of strong painkillers to treat those in severe pain having being injured in attacks, the Department of Health and Social Care said.
Mr Javid added: ‘It is appalling to watch the atrocities being committed by Putin as he pursues his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
‘The UK has acted swiftly to provide life-saving humanitarian aid to Ukraine and will continue to do everything we can. Yesterday’s shipment contains vital medicines including strong painkillers to treat severe pain and sedatives for intensive care procedures.’
The response has included flying 21 children with cancer to the UK to continue their treatment.
It has also been announced that GPs from Ukraine who want to practise in the UK will see their GMC registration fast-tracked.
This story was initially published on our sister title Pulse.