Healthcare and Medical Services
An Insider’s Guide to Living in London
This guide has been designed with the explicit intention to provide expats and travellers with all they need to know about moving to London.
This exciting chapter covers: Healthcare.
Your health is something you have to take good care of. If you don’t look after yourself then you can’t enjoy your new surrounding or job in the city of London.
We all know that the UK is blessed with NHS, but there are other options to consider throughout your stay. Of course, they cost. But it’s always best to keep every possibility to open to attain good health; physical and mental.
Healthcare in London
An adventure a day keeps the doctor away
So, you’ve done it. You’re relocating to London and you’ve thought of everything. The flights are booked and your new home is waiting. You have planned for every conceivable outcome – but what about the inconceivable ones?
Your healthcare strategy is unlikely to be the most inspiring aspect of your move, but it’s every bit as important as the place that you will be staying in.
You’d be forgiven for assuming that Great Britain’s ‘free’ National Health Service (NHS) is on-hand should any medical issues arise, but in fact, many new arrivals are required to pre-register or in some cases pre-pay for access to its services. Getting these contingency plans in place prior to your arrival will avoid any unnecessary stresses should you ever need medical attention.
In this chapter, we will explain the basic NHS structure, any possible fees you may be confronted with and private healthcare alternatives. Please feel free to save this page as there is also a handy list of emergency contact numbers and hospitals for you to have (just in case) – leaving you to fully enjoy yourself in your apartment and surrounding areas.
3.1 Access to the NHS in London
The National Health Service (NHS) is the main healthcare provider in the UK. NHS services are based on residency, and treatment is free for all those considered ‘ordinarily a resident’ of the United Kingdom.
All NHS patients in England are required to make a co-payment toward the cost of their healthcare through general taxation. Visitors that have applied for and are granted the right for settlement are considered ‘ordinarily a resident’ and can, therefore, make use of NHS services for free.