The UK healthcare system


The NHS, the National Health Service, provides public health care in the UK. All

the services that the NHS provides are free. However, you will have to pay for dentist and optician services. There is a charge for prescriptions in England but not in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. People from EU (European Union) countries can use NHS services. England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland run their local NHS services separately.

GP registration

The first and essential step is to be registered with a doctor or GP (General Practitioner). Once you are registered you can have access to your doctor for free.

Apart from routine checks, your GP can also advise you on health education, smoking and diets. Your GP can also administer your vaccines, do blood or other tests, and carry out easy surgery procedures.

Registering is easy and quick. First you have to know your closest GP to your home. In the webpage of the NHS you would be able to search for any GP in your postcode.

Anytime you need to see a doctor, you can ask your GP or the Hospital to provide an interpreter in your preferred language during your booking.

If you need emergency medical help call 999. If you need medical help fast but it is not an emergency call 111.

Once you know which GP to go to, you have to fill a GMS1 form where you will be asked to give your full details such as your name and address in order to be registered. Some GPs might ask you to show a proof of your identification such as a passport, or a proof of address as a bill or a council tax.

If you want to see a specialist, you need
a referral from your GP. This is not a legal requirement. If it is an emergency, you can go to A&E (Accident and Emergency).

GPs as well hospitals can provide an interpreter however you will need to request one when you book your appointment.

People from EU or Family members of EU citizens who live and work in the UK are considered ‘ordinarily resident’ and are eligible for free NHS treatments.

You can find more information here

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