When arriving in London, you need to register with a GP in the first few weeks. It is not compulsory but it is recommended that you do so as soon as possible. This is a free service for everyone who is residing in the UK.
You need to go to NHS website and find your nearest Medical practice by entering your postcode. I will suggest that you look out for big practices with positive patient reviews. The reason being, that waiting times to visit your GP in London may top 2 weeks, and you know that if you want to see the doctor well you want to see the doctor because you are sick now and not in 2 weeks.
Once you decide which practice to go make sure that they have indicated that they accept new patients (this information is available on the NHS site next to the name of the practice). When you are sure that you can enroll in the practice, grab your passport, your tenancy agreement or utility bill and pop down to the clinic to register. You will need to fill out forms with your personal details and medical history. If you have any conditions, make sure to bring all the needed paper work, so your new GP will have a comprehensive view of your health history.
It usually takes between 7-14 days upon registration, for you to receive your NHS card. You can book an appointment with the doctor 24 hours after your registration with the practice, you do not need to have your NHS card to book appointments.
Useful Tips: All contraceptives are prescribed free of charge by all practitioners in the UK. You pay £7.20 in the pharmacy and you will be given a dose for 3-6-12 months depending on your practitioner’s prescription.
If you want to stop smoking, your practitioner can give you free treatment patches and monitor your progress in the meantime. However if they catch you cheating, you will have to start paying for the patches yourself
All STD tests are done free of charge by your practitioner or in walk-in clinics, which are situated all over London. You can find your closest walk in clinic here
When it comes to healthcare you might want to consider spending £35-50 a month and get a private healthcare insurance (in case you are not covered by your employer). This can significantly help when it comes to waiting times and comfort. Please check my insurance post for more details.
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