NHS and GPs
Along with all the other practical aspects of moving to Great Britain, it is vitally important that you understand the healthcare system in the UK and what it can do for you.
What is the NHS?
Every British citizen is entitled to free healthcare on the National Health Service (NHS).
The NHS is an organisation which was designed to ensure that wealth does not determine access to medical attention.
How do I register with a doctor (GP) on the NHS?
Choose a GP you want to register with and check that they practice in your neighbourhood. The NHS website (www.nhs.uk) can help you find a GP. Visit
www.nhs.uk/servicedirectories to confirm whether you meet all the criteria required to register with them. Once you have done this, contact the surgery and ask about their registration procedure. They will likely provide you with a GMS1 form to fill out and return to them.
What supporting documents do I need to provide?
Your GP may ask to see proof of identity and proof of address, but this will depend on the practice. Remember to ask what you will be expected to bring when you inquire about registration.
Top tip: NHS Direct is a brilliant resource for medical and health information. If you want to identify symptoms, get advice or simply research conditions, you can do so online or by phone by visiting www.nhs.uk .
Private health insurance
The NHS offers free healthcare, but there are other options available. If you wish to apply for private medical insurance, you could qualify for some private healthcare services. Also ask your employer about their benefits packages as they may provide some private healthcare arrangements.
What is private healthcare insurance and why do people have it?
The NHS relies on funding from the government and is under increasing pressure to provide a high standard of service. Some people choose to pay for healthcare because they believe they will receive better care through a private practice and receive good value for their money by paying a premium. There are many companies that provide private healthcare insurance. Bupa and AXA PPP are two of the most popular healthcare insurance providers in the UK.
What does private healthcare insurance cost?
Private healthcare can be very expensive, but the price will depend on your individual circumstances. Speak with healthcare insurance providers to discuss your options in more detail.