2015.05.21 (Thu)

20th May 2015

Hello Friends,

Several of you have asked about health services in the UK.   As the 'rules' for overseas visitors using the NHS have changed recently I've summarised the situation; see below.

We'll meet next Sunday afternoon (24th May) from 2.30 pm until 4.30 pm in the ‘Lounge’ @ Emmanuel Church Centre, 43 Forest Road ~ your 'hosts' will be Philip and Jean with Linda, John and David ~ plus other volunteers! OPEN-HOUSE International Friendship Café welcomes overseas visitors to Loughborough (students, academics, employees, residents - married or single, children and adults); those for whom the U.K. is a ‘foreign’ land!

Invite your overseas colleagues and friends to join us on Sunday afternoons ~ we have travel books, games of skill, toys for the children, refreshments ~ and opportunities for making new friends, learn about different places, and practice your English.

Monday, 25th May is a public (bank) holiday, after celebrating Whitsun / Pentecost.   Come and join us as we W-A-L-K to the top of Beacon Hill.   It's an easy walk with lovely views ~ wear strong shoes and clothes suitable for sun or rain ~ we'll have a picnic at the top, so bring something to eat and drink.   MEET: 10.30 am at the junction of Pantain Road and Hill Top Road (LE11 3LW).   Don't forget your camera!
Worn out and foot-sore - try a shorter WALK next Tuesday afternoon!   Contact Kevin: after meeting outside the Basin restaurant, he will lead you on a leisurely stroll beside the canal (0798 188 5444 or k.j.richards@hotmail.co.uk).

May you all experience God’s wonderful blessing,



Dates for your Diary ~~~

MAY >>
24 Sun         Pentecost
31 Sun         Trinity Sunday

01 Mon         Meteorological Summer begins today (always 1st or 2nd).
14 Sun         Trooping the Colour.
17 Wed        University Summer 2015 Term ends.
19 Fri           Visit the National Space Centre and Abbey Pumping Station
20 Sat          Astronomical Summer begins today (usually 20 or 21)
                    – Summer Solstice.

?? DAY OUT - Where ?? ?? WALK - Local or Further away – Where ??
?? ... Nottingham Castle / Ironbridge / the National Space Centre & Abbey Pumping Station / Wollaton Hall / Somewhere Else ... ??


National Health Service (NHS) Charges

(Extract from Clive Hilton's 'BRITISH CULTURE' - May 2015 version)

'Visitors' to the UK (on holiday) should arrange healthcare insurance before travelling here; you will otherwise be required to pay for any National Health Service (NHS) health treatment you require.
'Temporary migrants' (students, academics, employees, dependants, children), means visitors to the UK who are likely to remain for more than 6 months but who do not have 'indefinite leave to remain'.   They will be required to pay a surcharge (£150 to £200 per year) when making a visa application, and will then be considered as 'ordinarily resident' in the UK and thus eligible for most (but not all) NHS treatment.  
Current advice (May 2015) from the UK Department of Health is that overseas visitors who are 'ordinarily resident' (living in the UK on a lawful and properly settled basis for the time being) will normally be exempt from NHS charges.   Visitors from the European Economic Area and Switzerland must be 'insured' in their member state and carry a valid EHIC card.   A health surcharge was introduced in April 2015 and this will be paid at the same time as a visa is paid for.   If you made a visa application before the surcharge was introduced you will probably be exempt from charges, but will have to pay the surcharge when you renew your visa.   With any dispute about charges the local NHS Trust will make the final decision.  
You are advised to register with the National Health Service for, 1) a medical general practice (GP),  and 2) a dentist soon after you arrive in the UK.
Most health services are free to UK citizens; from local surgeries/clinics manned by General Practitioners (GP = medical doctor) and other professional staff, to a wide range of specialist services available through larger hospitals situated throughout the nation.   Optical, dental and pharmaceutical services attract small fees of users but are free to children and those pensioners who receive state benefits because of low income.   The GP is able to refer patients to clinics and hospitals.   In many towns the NHS (National Health Service) provide a 24 hour Walk-In-Centre where you can access immediate assistance for minor injuries or concerns.
Further information may be found at www.gov.uk/Visas and Immigration/Arriving in the UK/Pay for UK healthcare as part of your immigration application.
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