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Healthcare is always a big concern when moving to a new country. In the UK there is private healthcare and state healthcare under the NHS.

Anyone who is ordinarily resident in the UK (i.e. lawfully living and settled in the UK), including full time overseas students and work permit holders, are entitled to free medical care under the National Health Service (NHS). Many may also choose to register with a private medical practice. However, it is not necessary to make a hard and fast choice about whether to use the NHS or private medical care. In most cases you can tap into both systems and use the one you feel is most appropriate when you need it.

Some people new to the UK prefer using private medical care because they have private medical insurance or have been given a recommendation by a friend. Most private doctors do not require advance registration, but it is advisable to contact them before you become sick to ensure they will see you when you need them.

The main point to remember about the UK health care system (both private and NHS) is that the General Practitioner (GP) is always the first point of contact. In practice, you must see your GP first so they can refer you to a specialist if required.