If you suffer from certain medical conditions you are entitled to free NHS prescriptions throughout the UK.
Medical exemption certificate
A medical exemption certificate (form EC92A) is the document that provides proof of entitlement to free NHS prescriptions throughout the UK.
In Scotland a medical exemption certificate should only be applied for, if you need a prescription dispensed in England.
Patients suffering from any of the conditions (listed below) continue to be eligible to apply for a medical exemption certificate. GPs verify the patient's eligibility for the appropriate medical exemption.
Patients who require a prescription to be dispensed in England will benefit from holding a medical exemption certificate. For patients who do not have these requirements, there is no need to apply for a medical exemption certificate.
Free NHS prescriptions
Any Scottish prescription form presented for dispensing in Scotland will be dispensed free of charge.
Any Welsh or Northern Irish prescription form presented for dispensing in Scotland will be dispensed free of charge.
Any English prescription form presented for dispensing in Scotland will be charged at the English rate, unless the prescription form is accompanied by an entitlement card, confirming the patient is eligible to receive the items free of charge, or the patient qualifies for exemption/remission of charges as listed in Regulation 4 of the NHS (Free Prescriptions and Charges for Drugs and Appliances)(Scotland) Regulations 2019 or The National Health Service (Charges for Drugs and Appliances) Regulations 2000 as amended.
What kind of medical conditions entitle you to free NHS prescriptions throughout the UK?
The medical conditions listed below entitle you to free NHS prescriptions throughout the UK:
- Permanent Fistula (including caecostomy, colostomy, laryngostomy, or ileostomy) requiring continuous surgical dressing or requiring an appliance
- forms of Hypoadrenalism (including Addison's disease) for which specific substitution therapy is required
- Diabetes Insipidus and other forms of hypopituitarism
- Diabetes mellitus except when treatment is by diet alone
- Myasthenia Gravis
- Epilepsy requiring continuous anti-convulsive therapy
A continuing physical disability which prevents a patient from leaving a residence without the help of another person; temporary disabilities do not count even if they last for several months.
Reapplying for your medical exemption certificate
If you're under 60 years old you only need to reapply for your medical exemption certificate if you require to have a prescription dispensed in England.
If so, contact your GP surgery in Scotland and ask a GP to complete a Medical Exemption (EC92A) form.
You and your GP must sign the form and the appropriate medical condition must be ticked. After the form has been completed send the form into the appropriate Practitioner Services Exemption Department in the Medical Contacts Details section.
Renewing your medical exemption certificate
If you're 60 years of age or over you're not required to renew your medical exemption certificate.
You're automatically entitled to free NHS prescriptions throughout the UK.
Maternity exemption certificate
A maternity exemption certificate is a certificate for expecting mothers and mothers who have borne a child within the previous 12 months. The certificate entitles you to receive free NHS dental treatment throughout the UK for the duration of the certificate.
A maternity exemption application form can be obtained from:
- your GP
- your midwife
- NHS Hospital Doctor
The above professionals have to complete the maternity exemption application form which is then sent to the appropriate Practitioner Services Exemptions Department.
The Exemption Department will then process the application form and your exemption certificate will be sent to you by post.
A lost medical/maternity exemption certificate
Please contact the appropriate Practitioner Services Exemption Department in the Medical Contact Details section.
The Exemption Department will send you a duplicate copy of your exemption certificate to you by post.
Is my maternity exemption certificate still valid if my baby is stillborn?
Your certificate is valid if, within the last twelve months, you've given birth to a live child or a child registered as still-born in accordance with the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1965.
I have a valid maternity/medical exemption certificate, can I use the certificate anywhere within the UK?
A valid maternity/medical exemption certificate can be used throughout the UK.
Does my maternity exemption certificate entitle me to free NHS dental treatment?
You can get free NHS dental treatment if, you're pregnant or have borne a child within the 12 months before the treatment starts. Your maternity exemption certificate will be accepted by your NHS dental practice as evidence that you're entitled to free NHS dental treatment.