Expats will have numerous options for private and public healthcare in Edinburgh. Public sector services are provided by the National Health Service (NHS) Scotland. All citizens and residents are eligible for enrolment in this system, funded through deductions from salaries. In short, no payment is required for doctor or hospital visits.
The NHS is generally efficient and provides high-quality care. Upon finding accommodation in Edinburgh, expats will need to register with a 'surgery', the term for a General Practitioner’s (GP) practice. The NHS Inform website will help in finding which practices serve different areas, as well as plenty of other info. Once registered, expats will be given an NHS number, after which getting an appointment becomes quick and easy.
Private healthcare is also available, though it can be prohibitively expensive, and the superb standard of complimentary public care leads many expats to forego this additional cost. Some expats do choose to use private healthcare in order to skip the waiting periods characteristic of the public sector. If planning to use private healthcare, it is recommended that expats invest in good comprehensive health insurance.
In the case of a medical emergency (where someone is seriously ill or injured) an ambulance should be called on 999. If medical attention or advice is needed in a non-life-threatening instance, NHS 111 should be dialled instead.
Ambulances called on the national number will take the patient to the nearest NHS hospital. Once the patient has been examined, they may be sent to another hospital specialising in the patient's particular ailment. This may be a public or private hospital, but as long as the initial hospital was an NHS hospital, the NHS will pay for the treatment regardless.
Public hospitals in Edinburgh
Leith Community Treatment Centre
Address: Junction Place, Edinburgh
Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
Address: 51 Little France Crescent, Old Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh
Royal Hospital for Sick Children
Address: 9 Sciennes Road, Edinburgh
Western General Hospital
Address: Crewe Road South, Edinburgh
Private hospitals in Edinburgh
Address: 40 Colinton Road, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Medical Centre
Address: 5 New Mart Road, Edinburgh
Spire Murrayfield Hospital
Address: 122 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh
Spire Shawfair Park Hospital
Address: 10 Easter Shawfair, Edinburgh
►For an overview of the country's healthcare system read the Healthcare in the United Kingdom page
Are you an expat living in Edinburgh?
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