Monday, February 20, 2012

How to Get Health Care When You Move to the United Kingdom

I answer this question almost every day:
“Victoria, what do I do about health care when I move to the United Kingdom?”
And my answer is always,
Well, okay, it’s a little bit more complicated than nothing, but compared to everything else you have to do to move to the UK, like get a visa, a UK bank account, and get a flight, you would think that health care would be just as hard right?

Well, this is one of those rare things that are actually really easy to deal with when you move to the UK. See, you will be paying tax in the UK when you move there. You aren’t double taxed by Canada and the UK, nor by America and the UK. So, you pay taxes in the UK when you work there and not at “home.”

Since you’re paying UK taxes, you’re entitled to UK health care. It’s called the NHS, which stands for National Health Service. Here’s the step-by-step:
  1. Once you have an address, you can look at and look for your nearest doctor and dentist by typing in your postal code.
  2. Call the doctor nearest to you that is accepting patients. Get an appointment to register for the doctor.
  3. Go to your appointment.
  4. When you get sick, go to the doctor. Easy-peasy. Birth Control is free, and prescriptions cost 6 pounds each.
  5. If you get sick between your arrival and getting an address & doctor then you can go to the hospital and they will treat you there.
  6. When you leave the UK, you do need to get health insurance for your travels. So, if you plan to spend a weekend in Paris, don’t forget to get travel insurance for your trip, which you can purchase within the UK from a hundred different agents. You can also purchase insurance from the USA or Canada, but be prepared to spend more if you do that.
That’s it, that’s all!
Any other questions or advice to share about moving to the UK? Please share your thoughts below!

Resources for Teaching in London
Classroom Canada
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
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Thanks for sharing your two pence!


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