The NHS - is it free?

  • September 26, 2023

It will come as a relief to those moving to the UK from overseas to know that the NHS is free to all at the point of delivery.

Put simply, the NHS belongs to you and is run for the people of the UK. It exists to help you and your family to stay healthy and improve your wellbeing. It helps you to keep mentally and physically well. 

The NHS was founded on a common set of principles and values that bind together the communities and people it serves – the patients and public of the UK – and of course the amazing staff who work for it.

Provided you are resident in the UK, you and your family can access free GP & hospital treatment.

Some people in the UK are also entitled to free prescriptions; to check your eligibility, click here. In Scotland prescriptions are free for all patients. 

You should register with the NHS as soon as you can have relocated to the UK. To do so is simple. Once you arrive in the UK, check for GP practices near you, and if they are taking new patients all you have to do is register. It is quick and easy, simply complete a registration form. Once submitted your GP will register you with the NHS, and you will receive an NHS number. 

Once registered, you can attend your local GP at no cost.

Find out more about registering with your GP practice, here.

You can search for your local GP service here, the search also gives you access to reviews, overviews of facilities and services that each service offers. 

In summary, the NHS is available to all. It is free at the point of delivery, access to NHS services is based on clinical need, not an individual’s ability to pay. 

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