Unit 11.1

Health and hygiene: Medicine and health


Health System- NHS (National Health Service)

  • United Kingdom has a health care system referred to as the National Health Service (NHS) it is a residence-based healthcare system.
    • Scotland has NHS Scotland.
    • Wales has NHS Wales.
    • In Northern Ireland, it is Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland.
  • Funding for the NHS comes directly from taxes.
  • NHS does not use medical cards anymore instead of them you will get your NHS Number after you’re born or the first time you get NHS care or treatment.
  • It is possible to register into the NHS as a temporary patient if you are going to be in the country longer than 24h but less than 3 months.
  • Once you’re registered to work and make national insurance contributions, you’ll be allowed to state-run healthcare on the same basis as a resident of that country.
  • If you have a low income, you may be able to get help with NHS costs through the NHS Low Income Scheme.
  • Non-EEA nationals need to pay a health tax when applying for a visa to stay in the United Kingdom for over 6 months unless they are exempt.
    • After paying the surcharge a person can use the NHS on a similar same basis as a normal resident.
    • Some of the services still will be charged, for example, dental services.
  • Getting healthcare:
    • For urgent but not life treating situations or advice call NHS 111.
    • For life treating situations call 999.
    • If you have a minor illness or minor injury, go to a walk-in centre, minor injuries unit or urgent treatment centre.

Private health system

  • There is a private health system in the United Kingdom.
  • The private system provides patients, for example, with shorter waiting times for treatments, private rooms or choice of the doctor.
  • Example Companies:
    • HCA is an international health company which also works in the UK but only in London and Manchester. Its hospitals are well equipped, and patients rarely need a transfer to another hospital. You can find a list of their hospitals and clinics at their site, hcahealthcare.co.uk you can also call them and ask them about their hospitals and clinics at 020 3131 7841 number from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
    • Spire is also an international health company with 39 hospitals in the UK, eight clinics and two specialist cancer clinics. They operate in the whole country expect Northern Ireland. You can find nearest Spire hospital on spirehealthcare.com/locations.
    • BUPA is one of the biggest providers of healthcare in the UK. It also works worldwide. In its offer, it provides coverage for example for cancer, heart diseases, dental treatment and more. You can search for its health centres at bupa.co.uk/health/health-assessments/our-centres.


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