The UK Healthcare System

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The UK is well known for its National Healthcare System (NHS) and is always proud to have the Top 20 best medical facilities in the world (according to the Legatum Institute 2017).

The healthcare system and health insurance in the UK are free at the point of use. This means that you can access care across a range of medical services, such as giving birth, whatever your residential status.

Health Insurance and the Healthcare System of the UK

Both the public healthcare system and the health insurance sector in the UK have advantages and disadvantages. You will be pleased to know that the free publicly-funded healthcare system called the National Health System (NHS) is residence-based rather than an insurance-based, meaning that all UK residents, including expats, can access many NHS services free of charge. One of the downsides is that waiting times can be long and you will have fewer alternatives for treatments.

Does the UK have Free public Healthcare for Non-residents?

Yes, but even though the UK has a free healthcare system that is regarded as one of the best in the world, it has faced challenges in recent years, mainly due to underfunding. There is also a smaller private sector available for those who want it and can afford it. In comparison to the NHS, patients report receiving a higher standard of care, which is probably due to a simple equation: patient numbers are lower and spending budgets are larger.

As you can see, the UK healthcare system has pros and cons you should consider if you are permanently relocating. In this case, you will be entitled to all the services provided by the NHS, reducing health care costs to a minimum. Should you decide to get private medical insurance anyway, you will certainly have faster access to specialists, better facilities and reduced waiting times.