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I will be traveling to London and wseek an explanation of health care while there. If I have a minor injury (eg blister) must I to go to a hosptital or can I find treatment at a doctor'es office somewhere near my apartment?

Posted by
8293 posts

Treatment in the Emergency Department of a hospital in Britain is free for everyone, even visitors. A visit to a doctor will incur a charge.

Posted by
5678 posts

John, During a recent trip to Scotland I got sick. I felt miserable, but it didn't feel like flu or a cold. I actually went to the tourist information office in Dunkeld in Perthshire and they set up an appointment for me with a Doctor at the local clinic later that day. As Norma points out, it didn't cost me anything. Pam

Posted by
970 posts

If you're doing something that you anticipate may prompt a need for medical treatment, you probably ought to identify a source for that treatment after you arrive. You might also consider buying medical insurance for the trip. But, have no fear, if you need treatment, you can be treated. How and who pays for it is another matter. If you need anything other than emergency care, you will likely need to deal with that detail. Now, about 20 years ago, I went to a doctor outside London because I feared I had the flu. The verdict was no. They didn't charge me because they did not want to mess around with all the paperwork. I would not count on that happening.

Posted by
3428 posts

I've seen (but not had to use *knocks on wood), minor emergency/walk-in clinics at places like Victoria Satation. I suspect that they would be able and probably willing to deal with minor things like blisters, etc. Emergency Rooms should be for EMERGENCIES. Pharmacy/chemist locations (like Boots) should be able to make suggesstions as well as checking with the tourist office or your hotel desk clerk or concierge.

Posted by
2785 posts

John, as Norma said if you go to an ER you won't brother was hit by a car in London...he was taken to the ER and the only thing he had to pay for was the crutches. Also, while in England my daughter got food poisoning and was really sick...I took her to the ER..I didn't pay a dime. I friend of mine developed a tooth ache while in London and went to the dental er and only had to pay for was the medicine that he was given.

Posted by
1035 posts

I had strep throat in N. Ireland and care cost me zip. Now, an emergency root canal in Republic of Ireland was another matter, and cost me more than it would have at home.

Posted by
33296 posts

Toni makes a good point. A&E as it is called (Accident and Emergency) is exactly that. It comes with long waiting times and should not be used for routine medical stuff. Throughout the country there is another branch of the NHS called "Walk In Centres" which are all around major towns and cities. Some are stand alone, some are attached to hospitals, some are in unusual places. In Birmingham there is one in the basement of a large Boots the Chemist. That's the place to go with minor injuries or if you don't know what's wrong with you. Its operated by nurses and senior nurses and they do a great job.

Posted by
5685 posts

If you need to see a doctor, there are some private clinics called Medicentre that are located in London. There is one at Victoria station, one at Waterloo, and several others around the city. I used these when I was an expat living in London. You pay for a consult just as you would back in the States. If your insurance covers you when travelling overseas, you then would submit a claim for reimbursement to your U.S. insurance carrier. However, if you have something really minor like a blister, you can simply go to a pharmacy (chemist) like Boots and buy some compeed to put on your blister.

Posted by
1 posts

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