We have a pretty decent little system here in the UK for healthcare, dentists etc. The NHS has been around since 1948 and is a healthcare monstrosity. It covers a lot for every person in the UK so you can imagine it to be quite bureaucratic, slow, and frustrating! On the other hand it has helped a lot of people who are in the system! Love it or hate it, it’s part of the British DNA.
Most of us pay a Health Surcharge when applying for our visas, this helps contribute to the NHS to help keep it going. It’s an expensive exercise to run this, the NHS is the fifth biggest employer in the world which is kinda insane. We all also pay taxes that contribute to the NHS as well, as we do back home.
The NHS also covers dentistry and subsidised prescriptions too.
We HIGHLY recommend you register with a GP as soon as you can in the UK. It will also allow you to get an NHS Number which you can ask for and it allows you to transfer doctors immediately
HOW DO I REGISTER WITH A GP?
Sometimes not even your closest GP can register you because of postcode rules and popularity. The rules usually are you go to a GP that is close to where you live. To find them, Go to NHS Choices, add your postcode, find the highest rating one close to you and call them to ask to register and ask them what you need to bring (it will be proof of ID, your BRP and proo
f of address). Many GP clinics are full so persist where you can!
WHAT ABOUT URGENT CLINICS OR IF I AM NOT REGISTERED?
Urgent appointments look for walk in centres, or go to A&E. You can also call 111 (it’s a non emergency phone line here) You can also get appointments (paid) on apps like Babylon, Push Doctor etc.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO SEE THE DENTIST?
Here is the list of price bands to see a dentist. We find it is way way cheaper here than NZ.
HOW DO I REGISTER WITH A DENTIST?
It’s different than with a GP, but you can use this link to help you as well as advice if your local ones are too full. Some people find it very hard to find one, but if you are willing to catch public transport and are flexible, it is ok for most people.
WHAT IS AN NHS NUMBER?
You get one automatically when registering with a GP. Do not confuse it with a NI (National insurance) number. Once you are registered, ask the receptionist if they can give it to you or when they are able to.
WHAT ARE THE COSTS FOR PRESCRIPTIONS HERE?
We have a price cap for prescriptions here. Click here for the current prices.
THE WATER HERE IS HARD AS! HOW CAN I PROTECT MY HAIR AND SKIN!?
Yep, not fun eh! Here is a conversation that will help!