Free emergency medical care is given regardless of nationality and ability-to-pay. If you are hospitalized for more than one night and you are a national of a country without a reciprocal health agreement with the UK, you will eventually be charged for care.
If you are physically able, you should transport yourself to the Accident & Emergency (A&E) department for care. If you are in need of an ambulance, call the general emergency number 999.
For minor or non-life threatening illnesses, call your GP or any local doctor. There are also a number of private 24-hour doctor services that make house calls. check the yellow pages if your doctor is unavailable.
Pharmacies (or chemists) can be found anywhere is Scotland. Business hours are Monday to Friday 9:00 to 17:30, Saturday 9:00-12:30. Outside of these hours, it may difficult to find an open store as there are no 24-hour pharmacies in the city. The timetables of chemists are posted on their doors and in local newspapers. In emergency, if you need medicine when all pharmacies are shut, then you can contact your GP or local police station. Some major supermarkets have a pharmacy counter and they may be open for separate opening hours than the market.
There are three categories of medicines in the UK:
Medicine prescribed by a doctor
Medicine sold under the supervision of a pharmacist
Medicine that is freely available
NHS prescriptions for medicines are charged at a fixed rate (currently 6.30 GBP). People under 16, pensioners, pregnant woman, people on permanent disability, low-income, and students under 19 are entitled to free prescriptions.
With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to Edinburgh is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to your host country and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find in United Kingdom. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover!
EasyExpat.com works in partnership with APRIL International to provide specific insurance solutions for travelling or staying outside your country of nationality.
Designed for either short or long stays, APRIL International’s insurance policies offer protection against any problems that might arise before departure or during your time in United Kingdom: cancelling your trip, medical expenses following an illness or accident, needing to be repatriated, causing damage to a third party or losing your luggage.
For more information on expat health insurance in the United Kingdom, visit our partner APRIL International