What is NHS and GP in the UK
5 min

What is NHS and GP in the UK

5 min
Uploaded on
Apr 5, 2022
Last updated on
May 8, 2023
Uploaded on
Apr 5, 2022
Last updated on
May 8, 2023
doctor treating a patient
Student Healthcare in the UK

To ensure you have everything you need if you fall sick, this article aims to guide you on how to get medical treatment in the United Kingdom. It also elaborates on international students' privilege to free medical treatment under the UK state health system. The article further describes various options such as Accident & Emergency (A&E), Visiting your GP and Hospital Appointments.

infographic about UK healthcare systems

What is the NHS?

The National Health Service (NHS) is the United Kingdom's state healthcare system. The NHS UK was established in 1948 with the aim to provide healthcare and services more efficiently and reduce pressure on frontline services. The country-wide health management system allows students to leverage the best healthcare faculties in the country with a purchase cost plan. The NHS UK provides a wide range of health care services covering appointments with the doctor, hospital treatment and even dental care.

The accident and emergency department in hospitals is for emergencies only. If you are unsure, you must call NHS 111 first or visit your pharmacy, and they will advise you. If you are in Wales, then instead of calling NHS 111, contact NHS Direct Wales. If you are in Northern Ireland, then instead of calling NHS 111, call Northern Ireland's out-of-hours service.

Services included in the NHS UK

The NHS UK provides various kinds of services where the student can find a pharmacy, a dentist, a GP, the nearest A&E and other urgent care services. The students can book or manage appointments in hospitals and for receiving vaccinations like covid and NHS flu vaccination. One can also place an order for a repeat prescription. The NHS UK offers the following services free of cost:

  1. Consultations with your General Practitioner /nurse
  2. Hospital Treatment in Accident & Emergency (A&E)
  3. Minor Injuries Treatment in Clinics
  4. Treatment with a consultant if it is referred by a General Practitioner
  5. Contraception and Sexual Health Services
  6. Maternity Services

What is GP in the UK?

To obtain health care in the UK, you should register with a General Practitioner (GP) when you reach there. This is your first resource for clinical treatment. A GP (General Practitioner) can treat most diseases and different health issues. However, the General Practitioner will direct you to an appropriate clinic office if you need to see a trained professional, just as conferences with a Doctor, the GP Surgery and many Health Centers give a scope of local area well-being administrations: inoculations, ladies' well-being facilities, administrations for guardians of little youngsters, family arranging, contraception and sexual health.

GP Surgery and Health Centers are ordinarily open during the daytime and early evening. Nonetheless, they typically have a replying mail message about where you can get help when the GP Surgery or Health Center is shut. Your nearby medical clinic may likewise have an NHS Walk-in Clinic. If your General Practitioner directs you to a medical clinic for therapy, you will normally be given the arrangement to see an advisor (expert specialist). Depending upon the clinical issue, you might be treated as an in-patient (where you are admitted to a ward and stay there for the time being or more) or as an out-patient (where you visit the emergency clinic for an arrangement).

How to register with a General Practitioner (GP)?

When you reach your study in the UK, you must register with a local doctor immediately. Your university should give you details regarding how and when to do this locally. If your university has suitable arrangements for a health centre, then you can register there. If not, you should register with a local doctor nearest to your student accommodation in the UK. Suppose you're studying at the University of Manchester, the University of Wales or any university in the country having an NHS UK facility inside the campus. You can register for a General Practitioner on your respective campuses, and if not, register with a GP nearest to your student halls in Manchester or student accommodation Wales etc.

Step 1: Visit the local doctor's clinic or the surgery during the visiting hours, taking a letter from your university as proof that you're a student studying in the UK, along with your passport and any immigration documents.

Step 2: Ask and add yourself to the list of National Health Service (NHS) patients. This indicates that you'll no longer be asked to pay the doctor's fee every time you visit them if you register with a GP.

Step 3: If you prefer, you can ask them to put you on a woman's doctor list. If you wish to be seen by a woman doctor, tell them before making an appointment so that they can make the necessary arrangements.

Who can register?

Doctors in England, Wales and Scotland regularly acknowledge students on courses of any length on their NHS patients' lists. They don't differentiate the very tests that decide if you can have free medical clinic therapy.

Specialists in Northern Ireland typically acknowledge their NHS patients' arrangements on courses of, in any event, a half year's length. They additionally believe students on more limited courses financed by the UK Government, the Northern Ireland offices, or the Welsh or Scottish Ministers.

If you fall into any of the accompanying gatherings, you ought to acquire a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before going to the UK, as the specialist is probably going to treat you similarly as a lasting occupant:

'Insured' European Economic Area (EEA) nationals, stateless people or refugees, their family members and the survivors (irrespective of nationality) of these groups of people are insured in each case in an EEA member state.

'Insured' Swiss or EU nationals, stateless people or outcasts, their relatives and the survivors (independent of ethnicity) of these gatherings of individuals are safeguarded for each situation in Switzerland.

Non-EEA nationals are legal residents and 'insured' in any EU country except Denmark.

If the doctor undertakes you as a patient, you will be mailed a medical card through the post with your NHS number. Nevertheless, being registered with the GP (doctor) and having an NHS number doesn't give you the privilege to access free hospital treatment. The hospital providing the treatments is accountable for organising whether international students are allowed to receive free hospital treatments. If the doctor doesn't take you as a patient, try somewhere else or contact:

England - The Local Primary care trust

Scotland - The NHS Board

Wales - The Local Health Board

Northern Ireland - The Business Services Organisation 

Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department

A few (yet not all) clinics have Accident and Emergency offices. 

The A&E offices are open 24 hours every day. Assume you need prompt clinical help (for instance, due to a mishap), call 999. The call is free, including from cell phones. An administrator will ask you which crisis administration you need (Fire, Police or Ambulance). 

For critical clinical help, request rescue vehicle administration. Be prepared to tell the crisis administrations what has occurred and precisely where you are particularly the road name.

Whenever you are associated with the Emergency Medical Dispatcher, they will ask you inquiries about the patient's condition. She or he may offer counsel on what to do until the rescue vehicle shows up. If the individual is seriously harmed and needs to go to the clinic, a rescue vehicle will be dispatched to take the individual to a clinic Accident and Emergency (A&E) division.

You are alright to travel on the off chance that you need acute treatment; you should advance by transport or taxi to an Accident and Emergency (A&E) division or request that a companion take you. There are zero charges for Accident and Emergency administrations (as long as you are not conceded as an in-patient and don't get to follow-up treatment). You mustn't have paid the migration well-being overcharge to utilise them.

Settling down in a new country is a very hectic period for an international student trying to cope up with the culture and the climate as well. In such situations health can become a little fragile as a change in climate can affect the student. In such situations health insurance become really important. You can know more about health insurance for international students. You can also learn how to take care of your mental health while studying abroad. Pre-existing health problems can be agitated by the after-effects of climate change, food intake, and emotional unwell being from staying away from home. These circumstances can lead to a lesser focus on your health than usual. We hope this blog has given you an understanding of how to navigate the UK healthcare system.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a GP in NHS UK?

Is the GP free of cost for international students?

What is the aim of NHS UK?

What is GP registration in the UK for international students?

What does NHS UK stand for?