Healthcare in Edinburgh

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.

While plagued by some controversies, the NHS is generally efficient and provides high-quality care. Expats will find that the waiting times for appointments are generally shorter than in England; often a same-day appointment can even be booked. Although some systematic red tape can cause irritation, expats who have never benefited from nationalised healthcare may be pleasantly surprised.

Upon finding accommodation in Edinburgh, expats will need to register with a “surgery”, the term for a General Practitioner’s (GP) practice. The NHS website will help in finding which practices serve the different areas. Once registered, expats will be given an NHS number, and obtaining an appointment becomes quick and easy.

Private healthcare is also available, though it can be prohibitively expensive and the elevated standard of complimentary public care leads many expats to forego this excess cost.

Public hospitals in Edinburgh (NHS)


Leith Community Treatment Centre

Address: 12 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


Edinburgh Clinic

Address: 40 Colinton Road, Edinburgh


Edinburgh Medical Centre

Address: 5 New Mart Road, Edinburgh


Spire Murrayfield Hospital

Address: 122 Corstorphine Rd, Edinburgh


Spire Shawfair Park Hospital

Address: 10 Easter Shawfair, Edinburgh

Rebecca Manor Our Expat Expert

Rebecca Manor is an American expat who moved to Edinburgh in 2007 with her husband.  Inspired by this gorgeous city, she maintains an award-winning blog where she writes about expat life, photography, literature, food, travel, cultural differences, and much more.  Visit her blog at

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