Author Topic: Thyroid Issues and Moving to the UK  (Read 638 times)

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Offline yoga mommy

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Thyroid Issues and Moving to the UK
« on: June 26, 2017, 08:30:57 PM »
Hello I have been scouring boards thyroid and this one to try and get some good information.  We are looking at moving over and I am trying to get ducks in a row.  From what I have read all NHS doctors prescribe synthetic thyroid meds is that correct?  I have also read that none of the private insurance cover pre existing conditions.  Having these issues I will obviously need to get meds when we move over.  I am hoping to be able to get a 6 month supply before I leave but has anyone dealt with this?  Do I find a GP as soon as I get there?  I will be on a Spouse visa.  Thanks for any help or answers. 

Offline nctami72

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Re: Thyroid Issues and Moving to the UK
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2017, 08:33:22 PM »
I have Hashimotos and am on Armour. My US doctor set me up with 2 years worth of meds before I left.

When I run out of those, in a year and a half, I'm just going to order and NDT from an online pharmacy. I'm not even going to try and fight the system here.

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Offline ksand24

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Re: Thyroid Issues and Moving to the UK
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2017, 08:41:46 PM »
Not sure about what thyroid medications are available in the UK, but if you have myxoedema or hypoparathyroidism, all your prescriptions will be completely free on the NHS via a medical exemption certificate (not just thyroid medication, but ALL prescriptions):

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Medical exemption certificates

People with certain medical conditions can get free NHS prescriptions if they have a valid medical exemption certificate.

A medical exemption certificate:

- entitles you to free NHS prescriptions only
- doesn't cover dental treatment or help with other health costs
- should be shown when you collect a prescription
- is valid for five years (or until your 60th birthday, whichever is sooner)

It’s your responsibility to check the expiry date, and if you claim free prescriptions after your certificate expires, you could have to pay a penalty charge of up to £100.

Who can apply (medical conditions)
You can apply for a medical exemption certificate if you have one of the following medical conditions:

- a permanent fistula (for example, caecostomy, colostomy, laryngostomy or ileostomy) which needs continuous surgical dressing or an appliance
- a form of hypoadrenalism (for example, Addison’s Disease) for which specific substitution therapy is essential
- diabetes insipidus and other forms of hypopituitarism
- diabetes mellitus, except where treatment is by diet alone
- hypoparathyroidism
- myasthenia gravis
- myxoedema (that is, hypothyroidism which needs thyroid hormone replacement)
- epilepsy which needs continuous anticonvulsive therapy
- a continuing physical disability which means you cannot go out without the help of another person
- cancer and are undergoing treatment for either:
- cancer
- the effects of cancer
- the effects of cancer treatment

These are the only conditions that entitle you to a medical exemption certificate. If you’re not sure about the name of your condition, speak to your doctor.

See: https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/exemption-certificates/medical-exemption-certificates

Offline ksand24

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Re: Thyroid Issues and Moving to the UK
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2017, 08:46:47 PM »
From what I have read all NHS doctors prescribe synthetic thyroid meds is that correct?  I have also read that none of the private insurance cover pre existing conditions.

That's likely to be because, in the UK, your first point of contact for medical issues will be the NHS, and there's no such thing as a 'pre-existing condition' on the NHS... you will be treated regardless of what condition you have and how long you've had it.

Private insurance is usually only used as a 'top-up'... namely, to skip waiting lists for NHS operations, to get elective surgeries not offered on the NHS, and to get treatment or operations that are considered too expensive to be covered on the NHS (admittedly, though, most things are covered).

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Do I find a GP as soon as I get there?  I will be on a Spouse visa.

You'll need to get some mail in your name, so that you have proof of address, then you just go along to a GP within your local area who is taking new patients and ask to register :).

You can search for local GPs here: http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/GP/LocationSearch/4

Offline historyenne

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Re: Thyroid Issues and Moving to the UK
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2017, 10:23:29 PM »
I don't know anything about synthetic meds, but I have Graves' disease (hyperthyroid) and I was prescribed carbimazole. I've had great treatment here, was diagnosed quickly by my GP, sent straight to a specialist, and have been having regular tests and checkups for the past 2 years to monitor my condition. Mileage varies a lot with the NHS--much depends on where you live, I think--but for me it's been fantastic.
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Offline margo

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Re: Thyroid Issues and Moving to the UK
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2017, 04:32:23 AM »
Hello I have been scouring boards thyroid and this one to try and get some good information.  We are looking at moving over and I am trying to get ducks in a row.  From what I have read all NHS doctors prescribe synthetic thyroid meds is that correct?  I have also read that none of the private insurance cover pre existing conditions.  Having these issues I will obviously need to get meds when we move over.  I am hoping to be able to get a 6 month supply before I leave but has anyone dealt with this?  Do I find a GP as soon as I get there?  I will be on a Spouse visa.  Thanks for any help or answers.

You may want to see if there's a group for whichever thyroid condition you have on FB located in the UK. In those groups there might be info for private doctors who prescribe what you need if it's not available on the NHS formulary (it has a name but I can't think of it right now). Some places have incredibly knowledgeable GP's and others barely do the minimum to keep people alive and consistently pass the buck (same in the US) so just be an informed patient and keep copies of all your medical records from the US (and any scans/imaging - have the cd's). Their private doctors are not outrageously priced and if you need to see one they can make referrals back to the NHS, so don't let the Private vs NHS thing scare you too much. You will still likely pay less in the UK with a chronic health condition even if you need a few private doctors.

Offline EmilyUK

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Re: Thyroid Issues and Moving to the UK
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2017, 11:34:07 PM »
Not sure about what thyroid medications are available in the UK, but if you have myxoedema or hypoparathyroidism, all your prescriptions will be completely free on the NHS via a medical exemption certificate (not just thyroid medication, but ALL prescriptions):

See: https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/exemption-certificates/medical-exemption-certificates

Just been finding out about this today, so guessing as you've posted this here Ksand this means it does not count as public funds. That's good news.
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Offline larrabee

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Re: Thyroid Issues and Moving to the UK
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2017, 08:02:07 AM »
Just been finding out about this today, so guessing as you've posted this here Ksand this means it does not count as public funds. That's good news.

Yes, free prescriptions (if you qualify) is not public funds. It's part of the "free" NHS because the IHS has been paid.
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Offline EmilyUK

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Re: Thyroid Issues and Moving to the UK
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2017, 01:02:02 PM »
Yes, free prescriptions (if you qualify) is not public funds. It's part of the "free" NHS because the IHS has been paid.

Thanks Larrabee, that's good news :)
Met Nov 2015
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Email confirming receipt (of online application) 25th May 2017
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Return label requested and emailed 17th July
Decision email 26th July
Visa 28th July