London is the perfect destination to head to for a memorable holiday with the family, friends or even just solo. From its man historic attractions to some of the finest modern marvels, not to forget culture, arts, entertainment and shopping there is plenty to see, do and experience in this amazing city.
For those who want to stay in comfort and splendour at any of the luxury hotels in London, quite a few such top hotels offer special discounts and seasonal packages.
One of the best places in terms of price, quality of facilities and sheer luxury, is the Montcalm Hotel Brewery, located in the centre of London. Very apt a location to stay at when on a trip to the city!
For those who are first time visitors to London, and unsure about the medical facilities they can access, a few helpful pointers that may come handy are:
The first thing to know is that not all NHS treatments in the country are free. Charges are applicable for non-UK residents, for treatment at hospitals and for dental treatments. For overseas travellers to the country, they may be charged for certain treatments, and subject to the urgency, may have to pay before the treatment. The new NHS regulations (for overseas visitors) 2017, has included changes applicable from 21 Aug., 2017 and those enforced from 23 Oct., 2017. This will influence visitors and former residents of the UK, differently, subject to where they reside. Also as the healthcare system in the UK differs from other countries, so it is possible that you current EHIC may not cover all, which would otherwise have been free in back home.
As per the new rules treatment at GP surgeries, A&E departments and Mental Health Act are free for all. Foreign visitors have to confirm with the NHS if they would be charged before treatment starts, and the GP will examine a patient’s status. Of these, only non-EEA citizens with “indefinite leave to remain” are eligible for free secondary care. Thos who visit from the EEC (European Economic Area) have to carry a current European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with them. These are not subject to payment of taxes, having registration with a GP, owning UK property or a NHS card or nationality. There are plans afoot for further changes in charging overseas travellers for use of A&E departments, urgent care providers and for the NHS. There still is no clarity about what Brexit will have on the status of medical entitlements in the UK.
Some of the regulations about NHS charges enforced for overseas travellers is mentioned below. For detailed information you need to visit the NHS website.
For visitors who need to consult with a physician when in the UK, they can register with a GP as an NHS patient. If you are less than 3 months and more than 24 hours you are eligible for registration as a temporary patient with a GP. The GP makes the decision whether they will accept any new patient. All treatment will be free. For further information visitors may download the medical brochure issued by the Royal College of General Practitioners – It’s Your Practice: A patient guide to GP services. It offers in depth information about what you can get from your GP.
Try to register with a GP near you in London: For those unable to register with a GP, they could try a GP-led Health Centre or an Urgent Care Centre. There is no need for registration and an appointment is not needed. These operate after office hours as well and most stay open 365 days a year. In the event the GP makes a decision to refer you for specialised treatment or to a hospital, charges may incur.
Hospital services: Residents of the UK are entitled to free treatment at hospitals. However, the NHS will charge for treatment given in all likelihood to visitors to the country as tourists, business travellers, staying with family members or staying without legal permission. Neglecting to make any NHS charge payment will negatively impact future immigration applications. As certain treatments or services do not charge a fee, they continue to remain free for overseas travellers. Hospitals in the UK treat patients for no charge for infectious diseases, including those categorised under STIs (sexually transmitted infections). This is to control the spread of such diseases.
Those patients admitted in the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E), walk-in emergency treatment centre for any emergency or a minor injuries unit do not have to pay any charges. But if there is need for admission to a hospital for other kinds of emergency treatments, fees may incur. For non-emergencies a visit to a GP is required and not to an A&E Unit. Family planning services, mandatory psychiatric treatments and those imposed by a legal order are also free. Neither termination of pregnancies (abortions) nor maternity treatment is considered to belong to family planning services.
Those who are non ordinary UK citizens are eligible to a select few free of charge treatments. These include students (on a minimum 6 months course) those employed by UK employers. Those citizens visiting from nations with a healthcare agreement with the UK, and those UK pensioners living overseas also are eligible for free hospital treatment. However, this does not include treatment that can be done in their home country (upon return) or pre-planned treatment.
In the event that hospital treatments in needed when visiting the UK, you have to provide proof of entitlement for free treatment. For ordinary residents, proof they are legal residents of the UK (utility bills, rental documents, passport etc). Those who are exempt will have to show immigration status, proof of employment/ study, the country they are coming from etc. Anyone who cannot furnish the needed evidence will be charged for treatment.