Medical Consultation in UK 英倫睇醫生

One of the greatest concerns when moving to UK is medical care. People like me having chronicle illness, getting the required medicine and proper medical follow-up are the major issues to be addressed.

On arrival to UK, the first thing is to register for GP (General Practitioner) Surgery. People typically will find GP Surgery that is close to where they lived but some may base on the reputation of the GP Surgery. Upon registration, the applicant will receive separate notifications on his/her NHS Number as well as a Patient Online Service Registrtion Letter. The latter will come with a list of online medical services providers and their associated websites. Applicant needs to create an account and link it up with the GP Surgery assigned services account details.


到步英國後首先要登記 GP (General Practitioner) Surgery,一般會揀鄰近居所的 GP Surgery,但亦有人會以坊間口碑作選擇。辦好登記,其後就會分別收到申請人的 NHS Number 及病人網上服務登記資訊 (Patient Online Services Registration Letter)。後者會列出一系列醫療服務供應名稱及其網址,病人需要先建立個人户口及提供 GP Surgery 預先分配的聯系資料。

List of Online medical services providers

Once registration was made, patients could make medical appointment or medicine request via the medical services provider’s mobile app. Features supported by each of these services providers’ mobile apps varied but beware that your registrated GP Surgery might have its own designated medical services provider, with which a more streamlined user experience would be available. And that is why I had registrated both Patient Access (Preferred!) and MyGP.

登記完成後,病人便可透過服務供應商的手機程式預約睇病或購買藥物。這些服務供應商的手機程式功能上各有所長,但要留意你所揀選的 GP Surgery 可能有自己 preferred 醫療服務供應商,使用上會較方便,亦因此我同時登記了 Patient Access (Preferred!)及 MyGP

Opening time of GP Surgeries normally run from 8:00am to 6:pm Monday to Friday; only morning session on Saturday and closed on Sunday as well as public holidays.

Just like in Hong Kong, you can book medical appointment by phone after GP Surgery is open for service. However, I’ll suggest you to reserve via medical services providers’ mobile app which is available 7×24. You don’t need to wait for phone connection and can select any GP with idle time-slot that suits you. Another advantage over phone call is that some GP Surgeries may allow mobile app to make appointment slightly earlier than phone call, for those same-day appointment. And in the case of my GP Surgery, I can use the app to reserve appointment after 07:00am while phone call appointment will only be available after 08:00am.

For urgent medical support outside normal hours, it will depend on whether your GP Surgery supports Extended Hours Video Consultation or not. This most likely will be one of the major considerations in picking the right GP Surgery.

And in the situation where more critical medical support is required, you can call relevant NHS hotlines like 111, 999 or directly go to local hospital with A&E services. If you want to know more, click here for details.

GP Surgery 應診時間通常是星期一至五,早上八時至傍晚六時,星期六只有上午,星期日及公眾假期休息。

睇醫生就同香港一樣,要在開診時段打電話到 GP Surgery 預先登記。不過我會建議用 Medical Services Provider 的手機程式預約,因全日 24 小時都可使用,不需等待接線,更可輕易揀選 GP Surgery 內的醫生及尚未預約的時段。另一優勝之處是很多 GP Surgery 會開放較早時段給手機程式使用者作即日預約,就像我的 GP Surgery,用手機程式可在當日早上七時預約,而透過電話則延至八時開診後。

有急病需要在非應診時段看醫生,就要視乎你的 GP Surgery 有否提供 Extended Hours 視像看診服務,這亦可能是你選擇那間 GP Surgery 的一個重要因素!

假如遇上其他更緊急的醫療問題,你可以致電其他 NHS 有關熱線如 111999 或直接到醫院急証室,想瞭解多些,可按此處

In late June, I had some unknown allergies and rashes appeared intermittenly over my body. The problem did not go away after two to three weeks. I inevitaly contacted my GP Surgery for consultation. As UK was still in her lockdown state, face-to-face consultation was not available from my GP Surgery and we had to rely on using audio consultation over the phone.

Oops, why not using Video Consultation?

Probably the doctor was also Working from home!

Problem again, how could I clearly describe those allery symptons over the phone? It turned out that doctor asked me to take photo of those rashes and upload to the GP Surgery’s system. Shortly after the diagnosis, my prescription was sent directly to the Pharmacy nearest to my home.

Medical consultation here in UK is of course, expected to be conducted in English. OMG, another brand new experience to me!

But no worry, if you really afraid to effectively communicate in English, ask for translation support when you make the initial NHS GP registration.

六月尾不知為何身體出現敏感問題,兩、三個星期仍未散去,無奈地要作第一次求診。由于當時英國仍處於 Lockdown,我的 GP Surgery 仍沒有開放 face-to-face 診症,只能透過電話作語音診斷。


可能醫生也是 Working from home 吧!

不過單憑口述又怎能清楚描述身上的敏感病徵呢?最終醫生還是要我拍下及上載身上的 rashes 到 GP Surgery 的系统。經過診斷後便處方到我居所最近的 Pharmacy 買藥。


但不用太擔心,真的怕溝通不上的話,可在最初的 NHS GP 登記時加入翻譯的要求。

Under the current UK’s medical system, medical consultation is independent of medicine provisioning. The NHS Health surcharge paid as part of the BNO Visa for Hong Kong application is only applicable to the medical consultation by GP. Patient still have to pay for the medicine and other medical services.

NHS currently has a fixed prescription charge of £9.35 per item per prescription. It’s hard to say whether it is cheap or not as it really depends on the type of medicines covered.

英國的醫療系统是醫、藥分家的。在申請 BNO Visa for Hong Kong 移居英國時所支付的 NHS 醫療附加費Health surcharge)只適用於看診服務,藥物處方或其他服務仍需自行負責。

現行 NHS 的處方是劃一收費,每一種藥物每次 9.35 鎊,便宜與否,視乎所需藥物,不能一概而論。

Once mastered how to handle day-to-day medical needs, the next step is to address the ongoing medical follow-up.

Since having my CABG operation few years ago, I have to take four types of medicine per day and to attend regular medical follow-up at government hospital. Before leaving Hong Kong, I requested hospitals to furnish me all my relevant medical records, attended the final medical follow-up and obtained my last batch of medicines.

Recently my medicines brought from Hong Kong were almost finished, so I visited my GP Surgery for medical follow-up and requested my Repeated Prescription. After the doctor reviewed those medical records I provided when registering for GP Surgery and the medicines prescribed in Hong Kong, he issued a prescription for me accordingly. It should be noted that the drugs available in United Kingdom may be slightly different from those in Hong Kong, GPs will make adjustments as necessary.

Similar to normal medical consultation, GP sent my prescription to my designated Pharmacy. Given that my cardiac problem is a kind of chronicle illness, GP marked this as a Repeated Prescription, which may have an expiry date of up to 12 months. Patients can request next batch of repeated prescription through medical services provider’s mobile app, without further visit to the GP Surgery.

To facilitate my future follow-up, my GP also advised me to get other medical checks. However, all these services are not covered in the NHS surcharge. I have to find the approprate GP Surgery myself and pay for the service.

Of the four prescibed medicines, most of them lasted for eight weeks except one only got 4 weeks. I ended up paying a total of £37.4.



早前見手上的藥物差不多吃完,便特意到 GP Surgery 找醫生商討及批出所需的重複處方 (Repeated Prescription)。醫生研究過我在登記 GP Surgery 時提供的病歷及香港所處方的藥物後,便替我發出 prescription,過程非常順利。要留意的是英國的藥物可能與香港食開的稍為不同,醫生會作出相應調整。

與一般睇醫生無異,GP 會送出 Prescription 到特定的 Pharmacy。由于這些是長期病患者藥物,GP 亦會把它設定為重複的 Prescription,而設定的有效期可長達一年,病人可透過 medical services provider 手機程式自行發送到 Pharmacy 購買。

另外醫生還建議我做相關的身體檢查,不過這些都是自費的,病人亦要自行尋找有提供這類檢查服務的 GP Surgery。

四種藥物,大部份為期八個星期,只有一種是四個星期,收費總共 37.4 鎊。

I projected my annual spending on prescription should be around £328. Not really high but still a burden to those like me who has no income. Knowing the needs of those with chronicle illness, UK government offers the option of cheaper NHS Prescription Prepayment Certificate (NHS PPC). With a prepayment of £30.25, this will cover all the patient’s NHS prescription for a period of 3 months. Similarly, if more medicines have to be taken, patients can also buy the £108.10 NHS PPC to cover a period of 12 months.

For my case, buying a 12-month NHS PPC will be more cost effective. Buying online is simple and straight forward, visit the following NHS web page to get more information and buy the certificate.

By the way, NHS also offers free prescription to elderly and selected categories of people. You may find more details at the above NHS web page .

以現行情况估計我一年藥費約 328 鎊,不算太高,但對於我這些無業人仕仍是個負擔。英國政府有考慮到長期病患者的需要,特别提供了價錢較低廉的 NHS 預繳處方卷NHS Prescription Prepayment Certificate, PPC)。病人可以預先支付 30.25 鎊,便可在三個月内無限次購買 GP Surgery 處方藥物;如果處方藥物種類較多,亦可以先支付 108.10 鎊,便可在十二個月内無限次購買處方藥物。

以我的情况來說,預繳一年較化算。講買 NHS PPC 亦頗簡單,只要到 NHS 的網頁 便可瀏覽到相關資訊及輕易購買。

另外長者或特定人仕,NHS 亦有提供免費處方藥物,更多資訊亦可以在對上的 NHS 的網頁 找到。

For each of the repeated prescription, there is a “Next issue” date indicating the date where the prescription is expected to be re-ordered. By making a request via the mobile app, the request will be automatically routed to the GP for approval.

Notice that the pharmacy is already aware if the patient had a valid NHS PPC or not and charges accordingly.

在病人的醫療記錄裡,每一種重複處方藥物會有一個 “下次發出” 日期 (Next issue) 供病人再次訂購。只需透過手機程式提出請求,系統就會自動把請求送到 GP 作審批。

另外藥房可查察到病人的 NHS 預繳處方卷記錄,會作出相應收費。

You may find this post overloaded with information and boring. However, this is a record of my medical concerns before moving to UK as well as my personal experience living here for more than six months. I hope this will be helpful to those in need.


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28 replies »

  1. 美國也是醫藥分家。有醫療保險的話,普通藥只要美金5元。夠窮可以用政府津貼的醫療保險,不夠窮,又是自由工作者,就要自己搞掂了。好多人就不買,博自己不會有大病。有大病在美國看醫生,沒有醫療保險真的好大鑊,破產都有份。看病的英文其實來來去去都是那些,你自己惡補一點就可以的了。除非是好特別,叫醫生講慢啲,或者可以要求書面的,這樣回家可以查吓字典。

    Liked by 1 person

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