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Topic: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?  (Read 54653 times)

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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #45 on: August 29, 2008, 03:44:39 PM »
You're covered as soon as you arrive. Just make sure to register with a local GP.

My Missus got off the 'plane got sick the next day and paid nothing for her care.

David



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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #46 on: October 14, 2008, 11:29:10 AM »
DW phoned my GP practice in the morning, went in the afternoon and registered....they didn't even bother checking her passport/visa!
"We don't want our chocolate to get cheesy!"


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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #47 on: January 10, 2009, 01:29:44 PM »
Just thought I would share my experiences with registering for a GP.

I moved/arrived here January 8th, 2007. I called the GP my husband was registered with a week later, and they said they would call me back as they had to "check the rules" of registering a patient like myself (on a visa, etcetera.)
They called back two hours later and said I had to wait three (!) months before registering. I didn't question it, obviously, as I was so unfamiliar with how things are over here so I figured that must have been the rules for EVERYONE. Little did I know that each practice seems to have its own set of rules...
I called back and set up an appointment exactly three months later to be registered. They wanted to see my passport to see my entry date to confirm I waited three months before registering.  ::)

Other than that, I have had no issues/problems with the NHS. Now I am employed by them and I am very, very grateful.

I worked in hospitals in the US and the difference, to me, is astounding.

I frequently tell NHS moaners about my experience working for and as a patient in US hospitals and they quickly change their tune. I always try to make sure they realize just how fortunate they are. I also realize people abuse this service... and I have had the odd conversation with people who may fall under that category, considering where I work, and having had no previous idea what the US was like in terms of healthcare, and they suddenly walk away with a new appreciation for NHS.

I think the doctors/consultants I work with do a fantastic job, as well as the nurses. They work hard with one aim and that is to get those babies better (I work in a neonatal unit.)

In the US, I would have had to ask these parents for their insurance information or call insurance companies on their behalf, or take payments (ouch, ouch, ouch) from them. I CANNOT IMAGINE being a parent going through a hard experience like having your newborn on a NICU, only then to have to also worry about paying for it all on top of that or what your insurance will or won't cover.
The staff in US hospitals work very, very hard too, but in the background lingers the insurance beast who ends up having more of a say in terms of what it will or won't pay for or who can or cannot have insurance based on pre-existing conditions or what have you...

It's not right.

Thank Goodness for the NHS!



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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #48 on: April 02, 2009, 05:31:59 AM »
I had read all these threads but it still didn't make my registering any easier...

I arrived on 8 March, and on the 12th, went with my husband to his GP (walking distance from the house). They gave me an "application" form and made a copy of my passport and US drivers license. Then they wanted proof of where I was living. We had already called the utilities to get my name put on bills so I could get added to his bank account, but it would be weeks potentially before anything came in the mail. I told them that. I also showed them on the visa where it lists my husbands name (he's in their system) as my spouse, so of course we lived at the same location. They told me to bring a copy of my marriage certificate and gave me a slip of paper with their info on it and said to call in 10 days to find out if I had been approved as a patient. I returned with the marriage cert the next business day and they made a copy of that.

The next week, I started getting a sore throat, which I assumed was normal adjusting to a new climate things, so I let it go. On the 18th my lymph nodes in my neck started swelling and it hurt to swallow and I was achey. I knew I still had a week to hear back from the GP, so I got otc cold and flu meds which helped the aches but not the throat. On the 10th day, I woke up in the middle of thenight with excruciating ear pain. I waited until the office opened, anc called. I explained that I was told to call and she said no, I had to wait until they called me. I said I was sick, and she said I still had to wait to get approved before I could make an  appointment. I called the NHS direct, who said that if I didn't get better in 4 days, to seek emergency care, or before then if it got worse.

For 4 days I was miserable. More miserable than |I had been. Then my husband calls the GP upset and they said that I was advised incorrectly. I was instrructed to come up and fill in a form (not medically related, it was all about religion) and then return home and wait for a doctor to call me. Two hours later he did and told me to come in in 45 minutes. I did, he gave me antibiotics, and sent me on my way. Later in the day, a nurse called to tell me I have a new patient exam at the end of April.

The good news is I finallygot treated. The bad news is, it's been 4 days ad I am barely better, and it is 5:50 am and here I am because I can't sleep AGAIN!

So, to those of you doing this in the future, good luck to you. And cross your fingers you don't get sick the first few weeks you are here. 

And FYI, I did not get an exam with this visit. A quick peaek in my ear and throat, and I was outta there. No temp taken, no blood pressure.. although they did ask me if I had a fever... I didn't know, of course..


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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #49 on: April 02, 2009, 08:02:35 AM »
Glad to hear that you got it sorted out in the end. Unfortunately, many surgeries seem to be under the impression that Americans living in the UK have to be in the country for 6 months before they can be registered and treated by the NHS, but this is not the case if you are on a visa valid for longer than 6 months.

And FYI, I did not get an exam with this visit. A quick peaek in my ear and throat, and I was outta there. No temp taken, no blood pressure.. although they did ask me if I had a fever... I didn't know, of course..

Generally, you don't get an exam when you visit the doctor in the UK - they just cover the specific reason you went to see them. For example, the only time I have my blood pressure taken is when I go for a repeat prescription of the pill. If I wasn't on the pill, my blood pressure probably wouldn't be checked at all. I have only had my temperature taken by the doctor once in the last 15 years or so - and that was when I had a bad chest infection back in January and was given antibiotics. I'm a bit surprised though that they didn't take your temperature to check when you said you didn't know if you had one  :-\\\\.


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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #50 on: April 02, 2009, 09:27:21 AM »
I would advise anyone who gets sick before they are registered to go to A&E.

Vicky


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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #51 on: May 27, 2010, 09:21:18 PM »
Just to quickly share my experience:

I arrived in the UK on my husband's tier 2 work permit as a dependant. I was able to easily register at my local GP by bringing in photo id (passport), proof of address (I used my joint bank account statement). There weren't any questions about my visa or status in the UK. Very much a no-questions-asked experience (besides filling out a standard medical history form and new patient interview by the doctor), and seemingly only had to prove I lived in the catchment area.

I received my NHS card with number in the post a week or two later. When I moved and registered at a new GP a year later, I walked in with my NHS number, passport for id and proof of my new address. Again, problem-free.

I'm confused as to why anyone would be turned away, although not surprised as the front desk staff at some GPs aren't the most knowledgeable or helpful.

For anyone needing birth control or contraception (or related examinations or tests), there are free sexual health clinics, usually near a hospital (in London at least), and you don't need to have registered for NHS to use it. I went this route during my first 6 months in London because I didn't want to bother with NHS. I didn't need to bring id or cash, for that matter! However I only needed bc pills, which they kept on hand. I didn't pay a cent.
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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #52 on: June 15, 2010, 03:59:05 PM »
It seems experiences can vary greatly when it comes to registering for health care.  Thankfully, my experience has been pain-free so far.

I arrived a month ago on a fiance visa and yesterday registered with the practice used by my fiance and his parents. As a fiance, I'm not allowed to work just yet, so I don't have an NI number.  They asked for proof of address and ID (but didn't even look at my visa page).  They booked me an appointment later that afternoon to meet with an aide who took down all my history (and filled me in on facts like all the birth control options are free of charge).  I had two issues back in America that I was due for a follow-up on and they made me appointments for 3 days later with no questions asked. 

To anyone that gets turned away, I suggest trying another practice!


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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #53 on: August 13, 2010, 06:56:25 PM »
everyone on here seems to be talking about spousal visa's... does all of this apply for fiance visa's as well?

thanks!
Fiance Visa sent to Chicago (non priority): July 13th 2010
"Application received" email: July 14th 2010
Visa approved: August 4th!!
Moving: August 29th!!!!!!


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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #54 on: August 13, 2010, 06:57:53 PM »
Yes.  :)


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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #55 on: September 24, 2010, 01:32:42 AM »
That's brilliant!!  Good info to know. :D
First visit to US (2 weeks)- October 2009
Second visit to US (3 months)- December 2009
First visit to UK - August 2010
Second visit to UK - October 2010
Third visit to UK - December 2010 (Engaged!)
His visit to US-April 2011
Married-May 2011!!!!


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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #56 on: October 04, 2011, 01:06:15 PM »
After honeymoon in the US I thought I might be pregnant... and I was :)

Arrived in the UK on my spouse visa, and was able to sign up with a GP right away and start my doctor visits. My National health care number/ card came a month later after I registered that first visit.

Overall I've had a very positive experience with the NHS, and have no complaints.


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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #57 on: January 22, 2012, 09:45:10 AM »
If you get told at the GP office by reception staff that they can't register you because of your spousal visa, sit in the office and ring the NHS.  Then, pass the phone to the receptionist.  Worked for me when I was told they didn't think they could register me. 


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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #58 on: March 07, 2012, 05:42:52 PM »
I'm on a spouse visa, valid from July 27, 2011 until October 27, 2013.  I arrived with my husband and my (then 9 month old) son in October.  I am today 8 weeks pregnant. 

I hadn't been registered with my GP, in fact I saw him as a private patient for treatment of post partum depression. 

When I went to sign up and book with a midwife, I was given my 'green notes' and tubes to take urine samples and given today as the appointment date.  I presumed if there was a problem, I would have been told at the time they were signing me up or sometime in the weeks after, before the appointment.

I went for my appointment and I was told that they could not treat me because I have no NHS number.  The office manager at the GP's office didn't want to register me because she was unsure if she 'could'.  They're trying to figure out how to treat me as a private patient, but again cannot process any blood or urine samples without a NHS number.

I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place -- especially since my son's nursery phoned yesterday to say that there is a confirmed case of measles (they don't know if its Rubella yet or not), which might pose a threat to the baby inside of me.  I just want to get -some- care for my baby.  Its so frustrating that if this was my husband's uterus, it wouldn't be an issue; or that this baby, no matter where its born, would be a British Citizen; and I can't get help for it!

The GP office manager wanted a print out from either the NHS website or from Home Border Agency actually naming my visa and stating that pre-natal care was permitted.  My husband and I have scoured those sites, but both say its to the GP's discretion as to whether or not to register me.  Does anyone have any advice (and quick)?


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Re: Are you entitled to FREE NHS treatment on a spousal visa?
« Reply #59 on: March 07, 2012, 06:16:28 PM »
Yes, of course you're entitled for treatment. Here's the link! Highlight the very first sentence, and be sure to take your passport with your visa when you go back to the office.

If you have spouse visa:

http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Healthcare/Entitlementsandcharges/OverseasVisitors/Browsable/DH_074376



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