Everyone can receive free emergency treatment in any Accident and Emergency department. Sexual health screening and treatment are also free for everyone at any sexual health clinic.
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You are eligible for free healthcare via the NHS – National Health Service, if you are either British or have settled status in the UK. To receive free healthcare you need an NHS number. Find more info about how to register with the NHS here.
If you are visiting or studying in the UK for less than 6 month and you are from an EEA (European Economic Area) country you need to have your EHIC card– European Health Insurance Card with you from your home country to be eligible for free healthcare, except planned treatments.
If you are from Australia or New Zealand visiting for less than 6 month or studying in the UK, you need to have your medicare card with you to receive free immediate medical treatment for conditions or injuries which arose after arrival into the UK.
If you are from a non – EEA country visiting for less than 6 months or studying in the UK with a standard visa you will need to have private health or travel insurance that covers any health care costs that may arise.
If you are visiting, working, studying in the UK for over 6 month, you are required to pay IHS – Immigration Health Surcharge, which is £470/year if you studying and £624/year for all other. You also need to pay IHS if you are applying for a visa while you are in the UK even if it is for 6 month or less. IHS is already included in your visa application.
Accident and Emergency
The central number for Ambulance, Police and Fire Department services is 999.
Emergency cases are attended in NHS hospitals at the A & E – Accident & Emergency department. Find your closest A & E services here.
Hospitals are usually very busy. Waiting time depends on the urgency and may take several hours.
Seek urgent medical help in case of an accident, life-threatening condition, loss of consciousness, heart attack, stroke, persistent strong chest pain, difficulty breathing, severe bleeding, severe allergic reactions, severe burns, acute confusion, persistent attack, severe head injury, etc.
Urgent, but not life-threatening conditions
You can call the NHS 24 hour helpline in any case on telephone number 111.
You can also visit any Walk-in Centre without appointment for infections, rashes, blood pressure problems, fractures and injuries, post-event contraception, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea, hay fever, insect sting and bite, stitches, minor cuts and bruises, minor burns and strains, smoking cessation, etc.
Find your closest Walk-in Centre here.
You can also visit MIUs – minor injury units or UCC – Urgent Care Centres without appointment for spasms, twitches, fractured bones, wounds, minor burns, minor head injuries, sting and bites, minor eye injuries, minor back, shoulders, chest problems, etc. Find your closest MIU here.
For sexual health check up and advise find your nearest clinic here.
Visit your GP for any concern or advise regarding your health, including mental health issues. More info about how to register with a GP.
If you have common cough, sore throat, cold, headache, etc., you can visit any Pharmacy, Chemist or call NHS 24 hour helpline 111 or GP Out of hour service for advice. You can also check your symptoms and get advice online on the NHS website (www.nhs.uk). For more information about over the counter medications for common illnesses, see Medicines in England.
Dental and Optical care
Although most basic healthcare via the NHS is free in England, you are required to contribute towards your dental care cost. More info about dental care and prices here. Locate your nearest dentist – NHS Dentist
Anyone can visit a private dentist, no NHS registration needed. It is quite pricey though. Consultation prices start from £28, extraction, filling and root canal treatments start from around £160. Find your nearest one on the NHS website or on google or phone books e.g: BT or yell.com.
You are also required to pay for general eye care. Eye tests are usually free, but you will need to pay for your pair of glasses or lenses. In case of any complication, your optician will refer you to your GP or an eye clinic / hospital where you may receive free NHS treatment if you are eligible. Find your nearest optician here.
Private eye correction surgeries prices are around £1000 – £3000 per eye. One of the most famous private eye hospital is the Moorfields Eye Hospital near Old Street station in London. Find more on google or phone books e.g: BT or yell.com.
Find out more about Health insurance in England here.