The National Health Service (NHS) provides healthcare to UK citizens. The services are paid for by the British Government and are funded by taxpayers.
The NHS covers a wide range of health services
from urgent care to general practitioners (GPs), and some dental services. Other fields covered by the NHS include reproductive health, urgent care services, nursing homes, maternity care, drug treatment, and psychological care.
You will still have to pay extra for:
- Prescriptions (more on this below)
- Eye tests
- Certain dental treatment
- Will a non-resident be covered by the NHS?
You will need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of your visa application, which gives you access to the NHS. The IHS fee depends on your visa, for the Global Talent Visa the charge is £624 per year. Certain categories
of citizens are exempt from paying the IHS. You can start using the NHS once you’re granted a visa.
To get medical assistance, you may be required to present:
- Your BRP (if you have one)
- In case you have a digital immigration status – a “share code”
- How to register with the NHS?
To register with the NHS you will need to visit the GP and register as a patient by completing a registration form. A GP (general practitioner) is a local family doctor and your first contact if you get sick. GPs can treat many different conditions, write prescriptions, and refer you to other NHS services.
The registration with a GP is free of charge. Also, once registered, you will not have to pay for your visits to the doctor. You are not required to provide proof of address or immigration status, ID or an NHS number to register, but it would be helpful to do so.
So, first, you need to find your local GP here
. You can register with any GP in your area as long as they have space for new patients. You will have to search for GPs based on your postcode and you can be refused if you choose a surgery outside of your area.
After choosing your GP, you can either:
- Visit the Health Centre in person and ask to register at the GP reception
- Check the GP surgery website to see if you can register online
- Call/email the GP’s office to be registered as a patient
You also need to fill in a registration form. If you decide to register online — download the form
, complete it, and send it to the GP’s office.
One of the main benefits of private healthcare is that you’ll often get access to treatment faster than with the NHS. Comprehensive health insurance policies will provide additional benefits such as out-patient treatment (scans, tests, x-rays and hospital appointments where you aren't admitted).
One of the most popular private health insurances is Bupa
. You can find insurance policies such as Bupa By You, which allows individuals to build the perfect health plan to suit their personal needs.
You can add your partner (if you both live at the same address) or dependants onto your policy at any time. The average yearly premium on private health insurance is around £1,500. The amount you pay depends on your insurer, what’s covered on your policy and your own circumstances and current state of health.
Prices start at £100. Depending on the plan you choose, different hospitals will become available to you:
- With the "Essential" plan, you'll be able to visit more than 200 hospitals across the country;
- "Extended" gives you access to over 900 hospitals;
- "Extended + London" — to over 100.
BUPA offers a wide range of services, which is why this company is one of the market leaders. The company offers:
- Coverage of more mental health conditions than any other insurer
- Health advice available 24/7
- Access to breakthrough cancer drugs and treatment
- Live video GP consultations via the app