How to see a doctor

Whether you are a BNO or investment immigration to the UK, you need to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) at the time of applying your visa to enjoy local medical services, including:
  • Urgent and emergency care services

  • General Practitioner (GP) service

  • Dentist

  • Prescription and pharmacies

  • NHS mental health service

  • Sexual health service

  • Optician and others

Register with a GP

In the UK, seeing a government GP is free of charge. Anyone in England can register with a GP. You may be asked for some documents when you register with a GP:

  • NHS card

  • Proof of address

  • Passport or British Residence Permit

It is not a legal requirement to be registered with a GP. You should go to the NHS website to see the location of the GP, which services they offer and their reviews and ratings before you register, as once you are registered with a GP it may not be easy for you to switch to another one.

After you register with the GP for the first time, NHS will send you a letter with the NHS number. The number is very important, please keep it safe and private. It is advisable to register with a GP as soon as you arrive in the UK.

Register during Covid

During the Covid-19 pandemic, NHS advices patients not to go into a GP office to register. Alternatively, you can check with the GP surgery website to see if you can register online. You can also download the “GMS1 registration form”, print and fill in the form and return to the practice you want to register with.

Go to a GP
You will have to make an appointment in advance before seeing a GP. As it is usually difficult for patients to make an appointment for same-day consultation, it is recommended to go to directly to a pharmacy such as chain drugstore like Boots to talk to a pharmacist about their condition. Generally, pharmacists can provide advice on over-the-counter medications for common conditions.

In addition, if you want to see a specialist, you will have to get a referral from a GP. If you cannot attend an appointment with a specialist or GP, you can cancel the appointment 24 hours in advance or you may be fined or blacklisted. Your appointment will also be cancelled unilaterally if you are late. Get Vaccinated

It is free to get vaccinated in the UK even if you have not registered with a GP. Just make an appointment with your local GP or simply walk into a vaccination site. The COVID-19 vaccines currently approved for use in the UK are:

  • Moderna vaccine

  • Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine

  • Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

  • Janssen vaccine (available later this year)

You will need to book a 2nd dose for 8 to 12 weeks after your 1st dose.

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