Your Health & the National Health Service (NHS).

Your local Doctors' surgery (or GP practice) provides a wide range of health services, including:

  • advice on health problems
  • vaccinations
  • examinations and treatment
  • prescriptions for medicines
  • referrals to other health services

If your condition is not urgent, you can expect to see a doctor within two or three working days or a health professional such as a nurse within one working day. If you don't need an appointment within two working days, you can also book in advance if this is more convenient for you. If you make an appointment it is important not to miss it, and you should notify the surgery if you have to cancel or change it.

You will only be able to register with a GP (Medical Doctor) as an NHS patient if you are booked to study for one year or longer. If you are staying less than 12 months and do not have medical insurance the cost of a consultation could be £30.00 to £50.00 for 10/15 minutes. Some GP’s prefer you to register when you arrive in the UK and some prefer you to register only when an appointment is needed. Ask your host family to find out for you. You should go to the host family GP unless you are in private accommodation, in which case you should select a surgery near to where you are staying. (See list of Doctors & Dentists below).

Treatment & Costs
Each Doctors’ Surgery is managed independently and has its own fee structure. If you are sick with a fever, headache, stomach ache, cold, cough, flu or have a skin allergy, you can get advice from the pharmacist at a chemist for non-prescription medication. Supermarkets and chemists (eg Boots) also sell their own brand medication, which may be cheaper than the more expensive marketed brands. If a prescription is issued by the GP, each medication will cost £6.50 at a chemist. You should not go straight to a hospital unless it is an emergency. You should take proof of your enrolment on a course of study with you when registering with a GP and if possible when attending hospital.

There are NHS dentists and private dentists. It may not be easy to find an NHS dentist, in which case you will need to go to a private dentist.

There are now three standard charges for all NHS dental treatment. This makes it easier to know how much you may need to pay and also helps ensure that you are being charged for NHS care (rather than private care).

The maximum charge for a complex course of treatment has been reduced from £384 to £189. Most courses of treatment cost £15.50 or £42.40.

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© RALSA 2009