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General medical care in Britain is free for UK residents. Fot that you need to be registered with your local Doctor (GP – General Practitioner). Although most basic healthcare is free in England, you are required to contribute towards your dental and eyecare costs.

Difference between NI number and NHS number

Your National Insurance Number – NI number is mainly used for taxation and pension contribution, it does not cover medical care. You will need to be registered with the NHS – National Health Service to receive your NHS number and card which covers your healthcare in England. Your Family doctor (GP – General Practitioner) will register you to the NHS system. Receiving your NHS card may take up to 2 to 4 weeks.

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Registering with a Family doctor – GP in England

Find your nearest Family doctor here NHS-GP.

What do you need to register?

  • The NHS registration form is available at a GP surgery or download it online –  GP form
  • Passport or ID Card
  • Proof of visa or Settled or Pre-settled status if you are not British
  • Proof of address e.g. Bank statement, tenancy agreement, letter from your landlord or any invoice, employment document with your name and address on it.

After registering, you will be sent your NHS card by post within about 1-2 weeks.

You will need to make an appointment with the nurse for a general check up including blood pressure, urine test, weight measurement, etc. and inquire about your health and family illness.

For women, smear test is required every 3 years. The test is performed by a nurse within the GP Surgery. Test result within the last 3 years from another country is also accepted.

Contraceptive pills are free for everyone. Ask the nurse for a prescription of your usual one. Get them from any Pharmacy or Chemist. Most Boots (, a well known health and beauty store, have a pharmacy section.

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Dentists in England

Although most basic healthcare is free in England, you are required to contribute towards your dental care cost. Use the following link to locate the nearest dentist – NHS Dentist.

NHS dental price list:

Consultation and minor treatment e.g. X-rays, a scale and polish, and planning for further treatment. £23.80
General treatment includes minor treatments plus additional treatment, e.g.: filling, extractions – removing teeth, root canal treatment, etc. £65.20
Complex procedures includes minor and general treatments plus additional procedures such as crowns, dentures and bridges. £282.80

Health Cash Plan schemes can cover all or part of your dental care costs. For more information, see Medical Care in England.

If you are pregnant or have a baby within one year then you are entitled to free dental treatments. People with low income may apply for LIS – Low Income Support scheme. For more information about LIS, see Medicines in England.

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Healthcare in Britain