Moving cities can be a daunting task. Especially if it is across countries and continents. I recently had one such experience – moving to the financial capital of the world – London.

One the finest support systems the UK government has is its National Health Service (fondly called the NHS). This is a publicly funded healthcare scheme providing a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use for people legally resident in the UK. So, for anyone moving to the UK, I strongly advise you to get yourself registered at at your nearest NHS.

The process is fairly straightforward and easy. You will require atleast two trips to your NHS – once to pick up your forms and scheduling a checkup and second for the actual checkup. You will need the following documents:

  1. Your passport with the valid visa allowing you to stay in the UK
  2. Your proof of residence (provided by your landlord/University)
  3. Duly filled enrollment forms (for the checkup/second visit)

The actual checkup will last for about 20 minutes which will consist mainly of regular checkup of blood pressure, height, weight, etc. This confirms your addition to the NHS database. Once you are done with this process, it will take 2-3 weeks for you to receive your NHS number. However, you can visit your GP (general practitioner) for free after your enrollment even though you do not have the NHS number.