Our monthly newsletter contains health and financial news, expat articles, social media recommendations and more.
United Kingdom (UK) - Doctors, Dentists and Other Health Services
Employers who provide health insurance often have a list of available services, doctors, and dentists given to employees at the time of insurance enrolment. Word of mouth or networking options are additional ways to find health services. http://www.gmc-uk.org contains a list of all the registered GPs in the United Kingdom. Checking this website will allow you to verify whether a given health service provider is registered and trustworthy.
In order to register with a doctor, it is first necessary to find a local GP surgery that is taking on new patients. Registration requires personal information including name, address, date of birth, NHS number, and previous GP information. Some offices also require photographic identity and proof of address.
GPs may ask for the NHS medical card or number, however this is not required by the NHS in order for someone to receive treatment. Expats may find it difficult to register with any office in their area and might need to local a specific office willing to accept expat patients for registration. No NHS hospital can turn away a foreigner who needs emergency medical attention.
Appointments are booked based on severity of need. Someone with a cold may be asked to wait, while someone with a more pressing need might be able to get an appointment on the same day. Each GP, dentist, or health service provider has their own appointment system which determines the speed with which an appointment can be made.
Expat Details for Visiting Health Services
Expats are covered under NHS services if they have been in the country for more than months and if the medical issue cannot wait until the person returns home. To ensure that health care issues are taken care of while in the UK, private healthcare insurance is an option that generally increases the ability to receive prompt care. It is a private payment system, unless an expat’s employer offers health care insurance through their work. Payment is based on a co-pay system which an expat will choose at the time they sign up for the policy. Payment is generally requested upfront for all services not covered under the NHS. Only select health service providers will set up payment plans and it is increasingly rare, especially for expats given the tenuosity of their situation once employment comes to an end.
Hospitals in the NHS system provide emergency care, however other services are on an as-needed basis. Depending on the situation it can be easier to see a GP upon returning home, rather than waiting in the UK, since waiting lists can be very long.
Medical Organisation Contacts
The NHS provides GPs and dentists as well as mental health services. Contact forms are available online for local doctors and dentists.
The Health and Social Care Information Centre helps connect individuals with doctors and health services.
+44(0) 845 300 6016
Mental Health Foundation
This Samaritans facility helps with any mental health treatment requirements.
+44(0) 845 790 9090
Addiction Drugs and Alcohol Addiction and Recovery
This charity offers help to those in England and Scotland. It is a drug and alcohol addiction facility with offices conveniently located in major cities.
+44(0) 207 251 5860
Drug Scope is a leading UK charity, helping professionals obtain treatment for their addictions.
+44(0) 207 234 9730
CRI is a health and social care organisation working with families, individuals, and communities in England and Wales.
+44(0) 207 833 7975
Expat Health Insurance Partners
Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.