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Sanctuary seeker new to Wales?

What health and wellbeing services are you entitled to if you are a sanctuary seeker new to Wales?

If you are a new arrival in Wales, you might feel confused about where to go if you need access to health and wellbeing services.  

We can help to tell you your rights as a sanctuary seeker (asylum seeker and/or refugee), where you can access help in an emergency and how to register for a GP.

All asylum seekers and refugees can access free medical treatment from the National Health Service (NHS) in Wales.  You are also entitled to be provided with relevant information in a language you understand. Services available include:

In need of help in an emergency?

Call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. The telephone operator will advise you what to do or where to go next. An ambulance may be sent to provide treatment or transport the patient to hospital. 

Hospital Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments are open 24 hours every day of the year. You can access these services directly and without an appointment.


Refugees and asylum seekers are entitled to access General Practitioner (GP) surgeries. A GP is a family doctor. You must register with a GP to ensure you can access treatment when you are sick.  

If you are an asylum seeker then ‘Clearsprings Ready Homes’ should assist you to be registered with a GP.  If you are having trouble being accepted by a GP surgery, your local Health Board is able to register you to a surgery.  To find a GP surgery near you visit NHS Direct Wales


Pharmacies can offer clinical advice and medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.  

Prescriptions for medicines are free for all in Wales.  Medicines can be collected from local pharmacies or chemists.

You can also buy medicines for minor illnesses or first aid supplies in a pharmacy or supermarket.

Find a pharmacy


A dentist ensures your teeth are healthy.  

You do not need to register with a dentist but free dental treatment will only be available at a dentist which accepts NHS patients.  

You can find a local NHS dentist by searching in your local area at the NHS direct website

If you need emergency dental treatment, you can contact the dental help line at NHS Direct Wales

Mental Health and wellbeing

Looking after your mental health and well-being is a very important part of keeping healthy.  You are likely to have experienced traumatic events and adjusting to life in a new country can be very difficult. 

You can talk to your GP if you feel stressed or that life is not worth living.  Your GP may be able to find you some expert help.  

If you want to talk to someone about these problems, the Samaritans has a free to call service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year which is confidential.  The number is 116 123.

You may be able to find help from a local refugee or asylum seeker support organisation

Maternity services

If you are pregnant you should notify the GP surgery to ensure that you receive support during your pregnancy from NHS midwives.

After the baby is born, ‘health visitors’ will provide you with advice and support to ensure your baby is developing well.

Children registered with a GP in Wales can also receive a range of vaccinations to help keep them, their family and neighbours safe.  These vaccines are free.

Family planning

The NHS provides a range of reproductive health services which can help you to make informed decisions.  This includes advice about contraception, sexually transmitted infections, abortion and family planning.  They can also help if you have been sexually assaulted.  

Using contraception and abortion are legal in the UK and can be provided safely and for free.

More information about sexual health can be found at the NHS Direct Wales website

You can find more information here - 

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