London is a large city in a developed country. This makes it easy and quickly to be taken care of medically. However, we don’t always know where to go or how it works. In addition, like many other foreign countries, health care costs can quickly come back very expensive. So where and how can you get medical care in London? As an expat, how are health care costs covered in England? Is international health insurance necessary?
The Public Hospital: the NHS (National Health Service)
The public hospital is without doubt the first place you will go, especially in an emergency. If you have a European health insurance card, you can benefit from free healthcare. Please note, the UK is leaving Europe on January 1, 2021. After this date, a European health insurance card will no longer have any effect in the UK. If you do not have the card, the treatment will be charged between £ 60 and £ 75 just for a consultation. In an emergency or serious case requiring hospitalization, you should go to the nearest hospital emergency room (NHS Urgent Care Centers). You should know that in these cases, the costs will be much higher. Hence the need to take out international health insurance that will cover all your health costs. Here are 3 examples of emergency centers:
• Fulham NHS Urgent Care Center: Fulham Palace Road (Charing Cross tube); open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
• Guy’s Hospital Urgent Care Center: Ground floor, Tabard Annexe Great Maze Pond (London bridge underground); open everyday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• Hammersmith NHS Urgent Care Center: Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road (East Acton underground); open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
If your needs are not urgent, you can go to an NHS Walk-in center. This type of center receives patients without an appointment. Here are 2 examples of drop-in centers:
• Soho NHS Walk-in Center: 1 Frith Street (Tottenham Court Road tube); open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• Parsons Green NHS Walk-in Center: 5-7 Parsons Green (Parsons Green tube); open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., weekends and school holidays 9 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.
Consultation with an online doctor
In recent years, the service sector has evolved dramatically. It is now possible to make an appointment with a doctor online. With the health situation of Covid-19, it is strongly recommended to opt for teleconsultations. Among the few applications and websites on the online medical appointment booking market, there are several options such as Findoc, Doctolib or Care.
How to be covered for your visits to the doctor?
Once you have been able to make an appointment with the doctor of your choice, you will need to be reimbursed for your various medical expenses. Between NHS, Private Medical Insurance – PMI and other international private insurances, you can quickly get lost. At Mondassur, we give you our best advice on how to choose health coverage in the UK. The ideal, as an expatriate, is to opt for health insurance for expatriates. This will be able to cover all of your health costs from the 1st euro paid. Our formulas adapt to your needs and your wallet. Our advisors are there to guide you and bring you the right solution, no matter where you are in the world.
Pharmacies in London
Once you have made an appointment with a doctor and the doctor has given you a prescription, you should go to a pharmacy. As an expatriate, you don’t always know where to go, especially if you’ve just moved. Here are the contact details of some pharmacies in London that are on call:
• Bliss Chemist:
o 5-6 Marble Arch (Marble Arch metro); open daily from 9 a.m. to midnight.
o 107-109 Gloucester Road (Gloucester Road tube); open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.
• Midnight Pharmacy Boots:
o 75 Queensway (Bayswater tube); open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
o 44-46 Regent Street (Piccadilly Circus tube); open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to midnight, Saturday 9 a.m. to midnight and Sunday 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
• Pharmacenter: 149 Edgware Road (East Acton metro); open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to midnight, Saturday 9 a.m. to midnight and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Warman-Freed Pharmacy: 45 Golders Green Rd (Golders Green tube); open everyday from 8:30 am to midnight
• Zafash Pharmacy: 135 Old Brompton Road (Earl’s Court tube): open 24/7
If you don’t have a prescription but need medicine, for example for mild symptoms, you can still get medicine. Indeed in England, many drugs are over the counter in supermarkets, and they are dispensed without a prescription. You can find some at Sainsbury or Tesco for example.