This is a big one. No one wants to think about getting ill and needing medical attention, and in fact, many people often do not think about it until its 2 am and they are frantically filling out forms in the ER before undergoing an emergency appendectomy. Before it gets to that sort of panic level, you might want to think about setting up some kind of healthcare insurance for you and your family. Part of moving to London is to get the details of things like healthcare and schooling out of the way before you arrive, so you are covered from day one. Then you can spend the rest of the time getting settled into your new London rental apartment and getting to grips with your new city.
Public Healthcare in England
While many people in England often moan about the healthcare system in the country, it is remarkably efficient and if you do have an emergency then you will be treated without much of a delay. The public health service in the country is called the National Health Service and it is a free service that is available to people who are resident in the United Kingdom. If you are relocating to London for work purposes then obviously you will be a resident of the country for the time that you are here and as such you qualify for free healthcare and hospital stays. The coverage extends to you and your spouse, or civil partner as well as your dependents under the age of 16 if they are resident with you in London. You will have to register with a GP, a General Practitioner, in your residential area and make sure that they place you on the list of NHS patients so you do not have to pay for consultations.
Private Healthcare in England.
You may be eligible for private healthcare through your employer, which makes it a lot easier to see specialists and other consultants if you need to while you are living here. Private healthcare is extremely expensive though and unless it is subsidized by your employers. It is interesting to note that less than 8% of the population make use of private healthcare in the United Kingdom, compared with nearly 60 % of all Americans relying on private health care, which might give you an indication of just how good the NHS really is.
You should make the time to take the family to visit your local doctor (GP) for a check up when you arrive in London. It will help immensely if you do have to call the doctor to make a house call or if there is an emergency that requires your doctor to meet you at the hospital. Make sure that the local surgery, (doctor’s office) has all of your medical details on file in case of an emergency.