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The NHS (National Health Service) employs more than 1.3 million people, can help you give up smoking and even look after you if you fall down the stairs while running for the tube. Oh, and did we mention it’s free?

What is it?

The NHS was set up in 1948 and is now the largest organisation in Europe. At its heart is the idea of free and affordable healthcare for all. It’s where you go if you need to see a GP. It’s responsible for running those handy (and free) sexual health clinics and even administers the hospitals, ambulances and specialists too. Dentists and ophthalmologists are even part of the NHS.

How do I get access?

First things first, you need to find a local NHS doctor and register. Doctors’ consultations are free. Alternatively, use an NHS walk-in centre. Medicine must be paid for, but the contraceptive pill is free. Dentists can also be NHS- registered, but you will need to pay a percentage of the cost of your treatment as only the basics are covered by the NHS.

But I’m not a British citizen, can I use it too?

Anyone living and working in Britain can register and use the services of the NHS.


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