Tag Archives: health

The NHS (National Health Service)

NHS

(Versao em Portugues no final da pagina :))

The NHS

(Based on my own experiences having lived in the UK for over 4 years now)

If you’re wondering what NHS stands for, it means National Health System which is the equivalent (on paper) of the SUS – Sistema Unico de Saude – in Brazil.

As an expat, one of the first things you should do when you arrive in the UK is to register with your GP – which stands for General Practitioner aka doctor – at your nearest surgery (aka clinic).

Wistaria Surgery

Photo: Wistaria Surgery

What happens when you register?

You are sent a letter with your NHS number and the name of your GP. Every time you book an appointment you’ll be seen by the same GP and they have your records on a computer.

What if you have an emergency?

Well, there are hospitals with A&E services (Accidents and Emergencies) and some of them are for minor injuries only.

How can I book an appointment with my GP?

You can phone the surgery, go in person or book it online. Some surgeries even have the “walk in” service, where you do not need to book an appointment in advance.

I’ve been living in the UK for over 4 years now and I’ve never had any problems with the NHS nor with making last-minute appointments. However, if you live in a big city like London, opinions may vary.

Is there such thing as Health Insurance?

Yes, of course but it’s considered to be for the rich. It’s not something impossible, though. As long as the NHS works for me, I see no point in paying for private health care. Again, this text is based on MY experience ONLY. I’ve heard good and bad things about the NHS.

When you get to the surgery, you can talk to the receptionist to let her know of your arrival or you can use the self-check-in screen (a touch screen system where you answer a few questions such as gender and DOB and Bob’s your uncle!).

The waiting room is pleasant, clean and very quiet. You just wait for your doctor to show up behind a door and call your name.

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Waiting room at local surgery (Photo: Personal Archive)

Once inside their office, they check your blood pressure and ask you those routine questions and the reason why you’re there. If they think you need to see a specialist they give you a referral (usually a letter telling you what to do to get in touch with the specialist doctor). I’ve been there, done that and so far I’ve got no complaints whatsoever. But if you ask my husband, who was born and bred in the UK, he’ll say that the NHS is far from being adequate. That’s when the expression “take something for granted” should be used.

Versao em Portugues: 

O NHS 

(Baseado nas minhas experiencias como brasileira moradora do Reino Unido ha mais de 4 anos)

Se voce nao sabe o que significa a sigla NHS (Sistema Nacional de Saude), nao se preocupe. Eh o equivalente (na teoria) ao SUS no Brasil.

Como uma expatriada, uma das primeiras coisas que se deve fazer quando voce chega no Reino Unido eh se registrar com o seu GP – que eh o seu General Practitioner, ou seja, seu medico – na sua clinica mais proxima (conhecida como surgery).

O que acontecei quando voce se registra?

Dias depois voce recebera uma carta constando o seu numero do NHS e o nome do seu GP. Toda vez que voce marcar uma consulta voce sera atendido pelo mesmo GP (salvo quando seu GP esta de ferias, doente – por que nao? – etc) e seus dados ficam arquivados no sistema operacional deles (computador).

Mas e se for uma emergencia?

Bem, existem hospitais com servicos de emergencias (A&E – Accidents and Emergencies) e alguns deles oferecem tratamentos para casos menos graves (minor injuries).

Como marco uma consulta com o meu GP?

Voce pode ligar para a sua clinica (surgery), ir pessoalmente marcar ou marcar online. Algumas clinicas tambem oferecem o “walk in” service que como o proprio nome diz, voce vai ate la sem marcar e aguarda ser atendido.

Estou morando no Reino Unido ha mais de 4 anos e nunca tive problemas com o NHS e nem mesmo em marcar consultas de emergencia (ultima hora). MAS….se voce mora em uma cidade grande como Londres, as opinioes sao variadas.

Existe Plano de Saude?

Sim, claro que existe mas eh considerado coisa de rico  mas nao eh nada impossivel de se ter. Enquanto o NHS funcionar para mim, eu nao vejo o porque de pagar por um plano de saude (veja bem, baseado no meu historico de saude e na minha experiencia aqui – touch wood!). Mais uma vez, as opinioes variam sobre isso, e ja ouvi coisas boas e ruins sobre o NHS!

Quando voce chega na sua surgery, voce pode se dirigir a recepcao para informa-los da sua chegada ou voce pode usar o self check-in (um sistema touch screen onde voce responde algumas perguntas tais como sexo, data de nascimento e pronto!)

Self checkin

Self Check-in (touch screen) (Photo: personal archive)

A sala de espera eh agradavel, limpa e bem silenciosa. Voce aguarda seu medico aparecer por uma porta e chamar seu nome. Uma vez que voce eh chamado, o seu GP checa sua pressao arterial e te faz as perguntas de praxe e te pergunta o porque de estar ali. Se o medico achar que voce deve ser atendido por um especialista, eles te dao o que chamamos de “referral” (geralmente uma carta explicando o que fazer para entrar em contato com o especialista). Ja passei por isso e ate agora nao tenho do que reclamar. Funciona! Mas, se voce perguntar ao meu marido, que eh nascido e criado no Reino Unido, ele dira que o NHS esta longe de ser adequado. Eh nessas horas que a expressao “take something for granted” deve ser usada.


Cycling to Keyhaven

I took up cycling as a hobby and I’ve been cycling nearly every day – weather allowing.

Today was not different. It was a lovely afternoon and since I had a few errands to run, why not cycle with a purpose? So, off I went. First into town which is roughly a 25-minute ride.

After doing what I had to do in town, I popped in to see a friend and have a nice cuppa.

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Having a cuppa with a friend

After a little rest it was time to have fun and head to Keyhaven in Milford on sea. Keyhaven is 2,5 miles from Lymington. It’s a lovely ride towards the water (downhill wooohooo!).

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Down Lower Pennington Lane you’ll reach a cycle path all the way to Keyhaven (see photos below).

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This is where I usually stop for a quick snack

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You can see the cattle and the Isle of Wight at the back

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At the end of this path, on the left, there are boats moored. That’s when you know you’re in Keyhaven 😉

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why not take a selfie?

As soon as you get to Keyhaven you’ll see The Gun Inn which is a very nice pit stop for a pint.

My favourite route from there is via Lymore Lane which goes all the way to Everton. It’s very rural but with a bit of sea air which is the best of both worlds in my opinion.

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My lovely bike in Keyhaven.

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A lovely ride along Lymore Lane

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End of my route: 12 miles.

What a great way to welcome the weekend! TGIF!