Reply to "Doctors in the UK"

Hi, I’d just like to add to what Bobish has already advised.

we are extremely fortunate in the UK that all our healthcare is free at point of treatment (everyone who is employed pays a National Insurance contribution which goes towards paying for NHS services), this is a very small percentage of your gross salary) however even if you do not work everyone who lives in the UK is entitled to “free” healthcare. However - there are other huge differences. 

Mad Bobish states, we usually do not get to choose which hospital or specialist we get to see. There probably is an online site of all relevant surgeons, however patients do not make the decision- it’s usually the GP who refers their patient to the relevant hospital for that particular town and the patient would then (eventually) receive a letter giving a date for an outpatient appointment and at that time you would probably meet the surgeon (or a member of their team) most large towns have their own hospital which covers all the usual roles you’d expect, however if the patients condition is more rare or complicated or needs specialist treatment - eg specialist oncology the patient will be referred to that hospital. Where you are referred to in that instance solely depends on where the local hospital is located. An example is - both my brother and I have FAP. I live in Dumfries (South West Scotland) and my surgery was performed at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. My brother lives in Ayr (approx 70 miles from me) and he had surgery at Gartnaval Hospital also in the Glasgow area. Most patients from my home town who have cancer and require radiotherapy go to a hospital in Edinburgh. These are only a few tiny examples. Personally I would never dream of suggesting a particular surgeon to my GP - although you probably can - I just have always been guided by then, trusting they know what they’re doing. Obviously when you are used to paying for the privilege I can see you would be doing research into the best surgeons etc. 

There is a slight difference to prescriptions in Scotland as well as we do not have to pay a single penny for any medication prescribed by a GP. I think Wales is free too / though I may be mistaken. In England you generally have to pay for each item ( I don't know the current charge - maybe around £11 per item - forgive me if I’m wrong) however certain medical conditions make you exempt from charges, eg Diabetes, having an ostomy - there may be a few others. You can also buy a prepaid certificate either quarterly, 6 monthly or annually and that covers for unlimited prescriptions which can be a huge saving if you need a lot of different medications. 

I hope I’ve not gone too far off topic, you may - or may not find my post interesting! 

Good luck for the future. X

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