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Health and Safety in United Kingdom

Royaume-Uni - ENG

Santé & Sécurité

Vaccines and health risks

No vaccinations are required for travel to the United Kingdom. However, it is advisable to have your vaccination record up to date.

The quality of health care institutions in the United Kingdom

The health care system in the United Kingdom is well known. The country has many modern and well-equipped health facilities where good quality care is provided. As in most countries in the world, a distinction is made between the public and private systems.

National Health Service (NHS)

The utility is very well equipped. A little like in France, the attending physician (General Practitioner or GP) refers the patient to a specialist if necessary. Care is free, as is access to the emergency room. Drugs prescribed by the GP are reimbursed with a flat rate (£6/€10 per box). However, waiting lists are very long (it can take more than a year to see a specialist). The choice of GP is very limited: you have to choose one in your neighbourhood and it is difficult to get an appointment.

You will find the list of GPs in your neighbourhood at the Post Office or at the town hall. You must register as soon as you arrive: don't wait until you are ill, otherwise, beware of waiting! You will receive your NHS number which is the equivalent of your Social Security number.

Even without an NHS affiliate number, you will be able to go to the emergency room if you need to.

The private service

The main advantage of the private system is its responsiveness: you will be taken care of quickly. However, the private system can be  expensive and consultations are not reimbursed by Social Security.

Some fees for treatment and consultations

If you are a citizen of a European Economic Area country, a student in Scotland or a student enrolled on a course of study lasting more than 6 months, you will be entitled to free care or the NHS (National Health Service) co-payment.

  • Consultation: no fees to be advanced in health centers and public hospitals. From £40 to £60 for a consultation with a doctor in the private system.
  •  Hospitalisation: free of charge in a public establishment.

As a foreigner, it is important that you have the EHIC, which you should request from your insurer 15 days before departure. This card will allow you to benefit from the same coverage as a British citizen in order to benefit free of charge from the National Health Service of the United Kingdom (NHS).

However, the EHIC is not accepted in private institutions, which can sometimes be restrictive due to long waiting periods. To avoid this, one should consider taking out private insurance to cover health costs in the private system. Heyme World Pass offers reimbursement in actual costs, as well as various insurance guarantees, including repatriation if necessary.

Emergency numbers

Emergency : 999, 112

Main hospitals in the United Kingdom

St Thomas' Hospital

Westminster Bridge Rd

+44 20 7188 7188

University College London Hospital

235 Euston Rd

+44 20 3456 7890

Addenbrooke's Hospital

Hills Rd, Cambridge CB2 0QQ

+44 1223 245151

Hôpital de Stoke Mandeville

Mandeville Rd, Aylesbury HP21 8AL

+44 1296 315000

Manchester Royal Infirmary

Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9WL

+44 161 276 1234

Royal Berkshire Hospital

Craven Rd, Reading RG1 5AN

+44 118 322 5111

St George's Hospital

Blackshaw Rd, London SW17 0QT

+44 20 8672 1255

More information on the health system in the United Kingdom

Health System Quality Index /100


Safety index /100


Crime index /100


Life expectancy

81,50 ans years (2012)

Number of doctors/inhabitants

277 /100 000 hab.

Reactivity index to waiting times


Screening locations

  • Hospitals and medical prescription
  • Self tests for sale on the internet


  • The morning-after pill is available without prescription in pharmacies (about 18€).
  • Condoms on sale in pharmacies/parapharmacies and supermarkets
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