Healthcare in England
The National Health Service is the organisation who deal with all healthcare issues. It is funded through taxes from the population and is a massive organisation (with the 7th highest number of employees worldwide). Healthcare is free at the point of delivery and so treatment is based on need not ability to pay. Higher priority patients will therefore get treatment faster than lower priority patients. The country is split into areas which have their own Primary Care Trust. These deal with services on a local scale.
To access healthcare you must register with a GP near where you live. A GP is a General Practioner, or Family Doctor based at a doctor's surgery, or student health centre. When registering with a doctor's surgery or student health centre you will need to provide:
- your passport;
- evidence that you are a student (for example, your enrolment letter or student card); and
- proof of your UK address (for example, accommodation contract or tenancy agreement).
You can see someone at your doctors' surgery about all health matters except dental problems (you must see a dentist for these). Your doctor can also arrange for you to see specialists at the hospital if this is appropriate. You will not be able to see a specialist without seeing a doctor first.
Any discussion you have with medical staff is confidential. Information is not shared with your family, university or college.
Even if you are eligible for free healthcare, not all services are free. Dental services and prescriptions are examples of health services which must be paid for.
Please see the How-to Guide for help with appointments