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3 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE TRAVELING FOR HEALTHCARE IN LONDON

Mya Care Blogger 07 Aug 2023
3 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE TRAVELING FOR HEALTHCARE IN LONDON

Updated 7th August 2023

As of 7th August 2023, there are no COVID-19 travel restrictions in the UK. If the situation changes, the article will be updated as necessary.

Healthcare in London alongside the rest of the UK is ranked as the best in the entire world.

The system is governed by the National Health Service (NHS) which is sponsored by just under 20% of the UK's tax money. The NHS makes it their business to ensure that only the best facilities are available in all of the UK, which makes it an incredibly attractive location to travel to for many medical tourists who cannot afford for any mistakes when it comes to their health.

London is an especially sought-after destination, endowed with a rich history that speaks for itself. Apart from being ranked as having the best healthcare on the globe, the city has a unique variety of museums and historical sites such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. Foreigners that travel for healthcare in London often take full advantage of its vibrant tourism scene, from its wide array of medieval architecture to its eclectic collection of shops.

If you're planning a trip to receive healthcare in London, you'll be in for quite the journey! There are, however, a few things you ought to know before you board that plane:

1. Free Medical Treatment is Limited

While there are some outdated articles on the internet claiming that the NHS offers free healthcare in London to expats and tourists, that policy has long since fallen away[1]. The NHS offers the following limited selection of free treatments to foreign nationals:

  • COVID-19 testing and treatment for confirmed COVID cases
  • COVID-19 vaccinations[2]
  • Treatment for the majority of infectious diseases including STD’s
  • Emergency treatment requiring immediate hospitalization
  • Family planning services (not including giving birth, abortions or infertility treatment)

2. Choose the Right Health Insurance

The UK now charges most foreigners for using its healthcare services, which is why it's mandatory to invest in international insurance on top of budgeting wisely. Since healthcare in London is highly prized all over the world, the costs of treatments can be rather pricey. Non-UK citizens will be charged at 150% of the national rate. Those intending to stay longer than 6 months will be charged an additional fee when applying for a visa.[3]

In the past, European nationals could easily opt for healthcare in London using their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)[4]. Since the UK left the EU[5], it’s important to check with healthcare authorities in your country if your card is still valid to claim for NHS treatment in the UK. For the majority of European nationals, EHIC cards are no longer valid in the UK for planned medical care. They may still be used to cover for necessary medical treatment[6] or if one happens to have a medical emergency in the UK while visiting.[7]

An S2 form may assist with medical insurance for those from the EU when planning for treatment in London[8]. However this route offers limited coverage by comparison to proper medical insurance, potentially able to sponsor necessary medical treatment. Having additional insurance is also advisable in the event of hidden healthcare costs[9].

3. Book Your Appointments in Advance

Since healthcare in London is free to all citizens in public hospitals, the waiting lists are notoriously long for surgeries, appointments and many other treatments. Many foreigners prefer to use private hospitals where the waiting lists are not that long, however the fee may be more.

While this is typical of public healthcare in London, the current pandemic has caused unexpected delays for those on waiting lists. Healthcare providers have expanded their services to include telehealth as an option, allowing for consultation prior to receiving medical care abroad.

Make Sure Your Specialty is Covered

Even though healthcare in London is renowned worldwide for its comprehensive services and cutting edge facilities, you will still need to ensure that your needs can be met. Some specialists may be unable to assist you due to lengthy waiting lists and in some cases, there may be no specialists available. For instance, if you are looking for the best alternative medical practitioners, you may have difficulty finding one in London; with the best cosmetic surgeons and Western doctors being more widely available.

Healthcare Providers in London

HealthClic 

HealthClic provides Concierge Medicine & 7-Day Private Doctor Home Visits in London. The facility prides itself on personalized care, longevity planning and a focus on the patient-clinician relationship.

Cromwell Hospital 

Cromwell Hospital in London provides high quality private healthcare to both UK and international patients, with patients visiting from over 140 countries worldwide. The hospital has partnered with over 500 leading consultants across 70 specialties.

BMI The Clementine Churchill Hospital

BMI The Clementine Churchill Hospital offers health care services in Middlesex and further afield. BMI has a team of experienced healthcare professionals as part of its staff.

BMI The London Independent Hospital

BMI The London Independent Hospital is a comprehensive private hospital. Besides General check ups, the facility provides more than 30 different medical specialties, including cardiac, trauma, physiotherapy & rehabilitation

The London Global Practice

The London Global Practice, is a renowned private global medical practice based in London. The practice has state of the art consultation rooms, nurse treatment rooms and access to the very best laboratory and imaging diagnostics facilities in London.

9 Harley Street

9 Harley Street is a state-of-the-art outpatient clinic offering access to leading specialists and the highest standards of care.

25 Harley Street

25 Harley Street is an outpatient center dedicated to providing the highest standards of patient care. 25 Harley Street offers access to expert consultants including heart specialists, endocrinologist doctors, and many more.

Weymouth Street Hospital

Weymouth Street Hospital is widely recognized as one of London’s most luxurious independent hospitals providing first class healthcare across a range of specialties including ENT, Gastroenterology, Gynecology and much more. 

Schoen Clinic London

Providing world-class treatment Schoen Clinic London, is a highly specialized spinal and orthopedic hospital. The hospital works with Londons leading doctors and consultants.

Schoen Clinic Chelsea

Schoen Clinic Chelsea Specialises in treating adults, adolescents, and children with eating disorders, anxiety, and depression. It also has a translation service for international patients.

Kathleen O'Hara Counselling Services

Kathleen O'Hara is an international psychotherapist with 25 years of helping families deal with the many challenges of life, including anxiety, work and family related stress, relationships, grief, next generation and complex family dynamics.

With a platform like Mya Care, you can easily find the specific specialist you are looking for and ensure that your needs can be met.

Source:

 
 
 
  • [1] https://www.myhealth.london.nhs.uk/information-for-overseas-visitors
  • [2] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-migrant-health-guide
  • [3] https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/visiting-or-moving-to-england/moving-to-england-from-outside-the-european-economic-area-eea/
  • [4] https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=559
  • [5] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/withdrawal-agreement-explainer-for-part-2-citizens-rights
  • [6] https://www.hr.admin.cam.ac.uk/hr-services/relocating-uk/living-uk/healthcare/eligibility-nhs-treatment
  • [7] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/healthcare-for-eu-and-efta-citizens-visiting-the-uk
  • [8] https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/going-abroad-for-treatment/what-is-the-s2-route/
  • [9] https://www.visitlondon.com/traveller-information/essential-information/emergency-services

Disclaimer: Please note that Mya Care does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided is not intended to replace the care or advice of a qualified healthcare professional. Always consult your doctor for all diagnoses, treatments, and cures for any diseases or conditions, as well as before changing your healthcare regimen. Do not reproduce, copy, reformat, publish, distribute, upload, post, transmit, transfer in any manner or sell any of the materials in this blog without prior written permission from myacare.com.