The UK National Health Service (NHS) has been around for over 60 years and is funded by the Government. The idea behind the NHS is that is provides a wide range of health services which are free at the point of use for residents of the UK. However, foreign nationals are not charged on the spot for medical treatment. Most NHS services are free to those resident in the UK, regardless of nationality, whether they pay taxes or national insurance, being registered with a GP or owning property in the UK. However, you may have to prove you are legally a resident of the UK.
Unlike other countries such as China or the USA, hospitals are not the first port of call for any illnesses and ailments. If you are suffering minor symptoms, then seeking the advice of a General Practitioner (GP) is the first step. If it is an emergency, then you can visit your local hospital’s Accident & Emergency department (A&E).
When you first become a resident in the UK, the one of the first things you will need to do is register at your local GP surgery. Once this is done, you will be given an NHS number and added to the system. Your GP will schedule any appointments you may need at the hospital and you will be informed of when they are by post.