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Health: basic steps for London new-comers
When you move to London, you have many things to deal with: find a job, make viewings to find a suitable place to live, move to your new home, sort out utilities, find a school for your kids, open a bank account, discover the city, understand how things work... You might think that finding a doctor can wait since you are not sick, but what if? What if all this stress is in fact running you down and you might have to see a doctor? What then? The best way to avoid problems is to deal with them before they become an emergency.
Do not wait until you are sick in bed, a victim of the weather in London and with Paracetamol as your only hope.
The Basic Procedures
As soon as you reach London, register with a GP in your neighbourhood. You can find all the GPs nearest to you on the NHS website.
In addition, apply for both a National Insurance Number (all the information regarding the NIN can be found on the government's website), as well as a European Health Insurance Card (you can apply by clicking here).
Please note that in case of emergency, public hospitals offer free consultations (you will just need to pay for the medicine they prescribe at £8.20 per pack).
If you do not feel confident enough and unsure as to whether you will be able to deal with the paperwork by yourself or if you would prefer to get help from a French speaking team, the French Clinic (DF-SFB) will be able to assist you. The French Clinic, a charity founded in 1867, aims at helping with medical and/or social support, vulnerable French and French speaking people in the UK. It works in collaboration with the social services of the French Consulate. The clinic offers cheap consultations in French, given by volunteer health professionals (general practitioners, psychologists, gynaecologists, etc). The clinic is open Monday to Thursday from 9am to 5.30pm and on Friday from 9am to 4pm. Registration costs £10, and consultations costs £10 as well. To get an appointment with a doctor, call 020 8222 8822.
The French Clinic
The French Clinic also offers social support given by a team of volunteers: visits to isolated older people, outings to concerts and exhibitions, financial help for young people going through a difficult time, etc. Visit their website for any further information.