London has Medical Services for All
London, the home of the famous and historic Harley Street Clinic has medical services to suit everyone. From NHS healthcare to private medical services, London provides everything from regular checkups with doctors to life-saving surgery or cosmetic procedures. There are standard GPs, dermatologists, neurological specialists and cosmetic surgeons aplenty in the nation's capital.
How to Find an NHS Doctor or a Private Healthcare Provider
You can register with any doctor's surgery facilities in London, but with hundreds of surgeons to choose from, it is very easy to find medical services in your area. You can find your local GP by doing a simple search with the NHS. Private clinics can be found with a simple search engine search, and you will often find that many NHS doctors also perform procedures privately. Private healthcare is generally associated with shorter waiting times for non-urgent procedures, but with greater expense.
What Does the NHS Cover?
Healthcare appointments on the NHS are free, though you may often have to pay some money towards prescriptions; some prescription items (such as contraceptives) are free, however. If you are registering for your first appointment with a new surgery, you may need to bring some kind of proof of address (such as a utility bill) or photo ID (like a passport or driving license), so make sure to check with the surgeon's office to see if this is needed. Make sure to check the opening hours, too. Many doctor's offices enable you to book an appointment online as well as over the phone, in case you find that more convenient.
Emergency Medical Care
When it comes to emergency medical services, London has plenty of places where you can be treated, including large hospitals in central locations such as Kings College Hospital. If you have a real health emergency, you can call 999 and an ambulance will come to take you to hospital to receive urgent medical care or you can check in to Accident and Emergency (or A&E) yourself. The 999 number is free to call and the phone lines are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Not an Emergency?
If you have a health problem but it is not an emergency, you can call the NHS's non emergency number, 111. This is a great line to call if you need advice about how to treat something like a sprained ankle, but the advisors on this line will also be able to tell you whether your symptoms do in fact warrant a trip to A&E or whether you can just book an appointment with your GP. The 111 line is also free to call, and was set up to ensure that people who had non urgent symptoms did not overuse the 999 line so that emergencies can be dealt with more quickly.
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