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Alessiacima
12/30/2016 06:57 EST

Hello! I'll move to the UK in a few months and I'm having some problems understanding how NHS works. What does NHS include as services (I know about the GP but what else)? how does is work if I have to get admitted to the hospital?

Thanks for the help

familytolondon
12/30/2016 08:42 EST

Hello Alessiacima! To get an introduction to NHS services and useful links for further information visit my site http://familytolondon.co.uk/healthcare-in-england/
Good luck with your move!

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kaitem
1/4/2017 08:01 EST

Hi,
Welcome to the UK! I moved here from the US about 18 months ago, and the 2 most challenging things were 1) getting a bank account and 2) figuring out NHS.
If you're trying to figure out what NHS covers, their basic website does include a good amount of information. One really important thing to note is EVERYTHING has to go through your GP. Everything is referral based, so you go to your GP, and they'll send out a referral to whatever doctor. As a note, this adds a lot of admin time and in general, I found it to be a long (very long) waiting period between my GP appt and actually getting in to the referred doctor. For example, I hurt my back badly over the summer, I ended up in the A&E (emergency room) half a dozen times over the last 7 months, and had been going probably every 2 weeks to my GP, getting referrals to various therapy sessions, MRI, specialists, etc., and just recently have gotten most of it settled. Also, almost all of it was covered by NHS, the exception being that I went to a few private doctors, which aren't covered by NHS but the wait time was 2-3 weeks instead of 2-3 months. I found it extremely challenging because it's very different than the US heath care system that I am used to, and to be honest I have very little support and it felt like I always got runaround when I'd have questions. Since NHS is free and open to everyone, people tend to be more open to going in for smaller issues (vs. in the US, with copays and such, in my experience you try to avoid paying so much extra.).
Your specific question about hosp admittance, I dont know about long term, but I was in the A&E and there was no charge (vs. US emergency room, I was usually charged $500 minumum). If you have any specific questions, I can try to help, feel free to send a message.

Good luck!
Kaite

Alessiacima
1/4/2017 11:39 EST

Dear Kaite,

Thank you so much for your answer that was exactly what I was looking for! It was of great help. Can I just ask one more thing, does NHS cover also expenses outside the UK? For example if I am travelling and something happens will NHS cover or should I get an other travel insurance?

Thelse things are so different compared to Switzerland so I'm trying to have a good and full understanding of the situation.

Thank you again!

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