The Reciprocal Healthcare Arrangement (RHA) between the Isle of Man and the UK has been updated and extends the period of free emergency health care to six months.

Previously residents who required emergency medical treatment in the UK would receive their treatment at no cost, if they took ill within three months of their arrival.

Residents will now be covered should they fall ill within six months of arriving in the UK.

The RHA extends both ways, meaning visitors to the island from the UK will also receive free emergency medical care if they fall ill within six months of arrival.

Manx residents will be covered for three main types of NHS care:

•Medically necessary and emergency care

•Treatment organised by Manx Care

•Routine healthcare considered medically necessary to manage pregnancy or long term conditions

•When in the UK, Manx residents will be required to pay the same charges as UK residents including prescriptions and dental fees

The new agreement also extends coverage for students attending courses in the UK which last longer than six months, ensuring they are eligible for medically necessary healthcare for the duration of their studies.

The original arrangement has been in place since 2010, and this marks the first review. It is now written in to the arrangement that there will be a review or renewal every five years.

Not all treatment is covered and the advice to all travellers, whether going to the UK or further afield, is to ensure that appropriate healthcare and repatriation insurance is in place before travelling off-island.