Thursday, 1 October 2009

Getting a National Health Service (NHS) Number

Remember, as an American studying in the UK for more than six months, you have access to the UK's National Health Service (NHS). This means that you do not need seperate health insurance like you would in the US because the NHS is government operated and functions without the involvement of private insurance companies.

Obtaining your NHS number is pretty simple. All you have to do is register with a GP. (GP means General Practitioner, or doctor.) After your successful registration you will receive, by post, a yellow mailing from the NHS--hopefully within a week or two. This mailing will contain your NHS number in the upper right hand corner. It will also contain your surgery (a.k.a. doctor's office) details and Community Health Index (CHI) Number. Make sure you keep it in a safe place.

Unfortunately, since you need to register at the GP in order to get your NHS number, you cannot apply for it long distance. You must already be residing in the UK.

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