How much does it cost to see a private GP?
Updated: Nov 8, 2019
In the United Kingdom, we have universal healthcare. This means that the government use our taxes to provide a medical service to all of our citizens. However, you may want the option of having an appointment with a private general practitioner (GP, also known as a doctor or physician). Maybe you are a student from overseas used to private healthcare, and would prefer to see a private GP. Or perhaps you have a particular medical issue that you want a second opinion on. Whatever the reason, you may be wondering how much seeing a private GP in the UK can cost. In this article, I will outline how much it costs to see a private GP in the UK and why.
How much does it cost to see a private GP in the UK?
On average, the cost can range from £50 to £275 and upwards per 20-minute private GP appointment. There are a number of reasons the cost can vary, including:
the experience and qualifications of the doctor or GP
the size of the healthcare company and;
the location of the healthcare clinic.
Our consultation prices
At Vaila Health, a private GP consultation is £80. The doctor will see you for the full 20 minutes and discuss with you any symptoms you may be experiencing or medication you require. This cost is the same for a private consultation in St Andrews in Fife, Perth, or Dundee.
Cost-saving tip: maximise the value of your appointment
When booking your appointment with one of our GPs, you can either let our reception team know the reason for your appointment or write the reason in the notes when booking online. This will ensure that you get the most of your private 20 minute GP appointment, as our GP will be able to prepare by reading your notes before you come in.
Are there any additional costs involved?
In addition to the cost of the appointment, private practices will charge a small sum for any additional administration or testing that is required as a result of your appointment. This includes any prescriptions you may require, vaccinations or blood tests, and any sick note or referral letter that is drafted by the doctor on your behalf.
How much do prescriptions cost?
With the NHS, prescriptions cost £9 per prescription item in England and is free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Private prescriptions work by the private GP issuing you with a private prescription during your appointment for a small fee, which you can then take to a pharmacy to be dispensed. When you visit the pharmacy, you will need to pay for your prescription medication before the item is dispensed. The good news is that due to the NHS fixed-rate, certain types of medication will work out at a cheaper cost than if purchased completely privately.
Our prescription issue prices
At Vaila Health, we charge £8 to issue a prescription. This helps to cover our administration costs in issuing the prescription. We do not charge extra if there is more than one medicine item on the prescription, only per prescription issued.
Cost-saving tip: Generic vs branded medication
Because pricing is not set at a flat rate, it may be possible to save money by obtaining a generic version of your required medication, rather than the branded ones. Branded medication is usually the original version of the medicine, developed and sold by a single pharmaceutical company. After a set period of time, the patent on the original version of medicine runs out, meaning that other companies can manufacture the drug under different names. This tends to reduce the price of the drug, as it is no longer held by just one company and competition opens up for manufacture. The drug will be exactly the same, with all the same ingredients, just cheaper. Ask your pharmacist or GP if there is a generic version of your medication available to you.
How much does a sick note or referral/medical letter cost?
If you have fallen ill and need a letter from your GP to pass to your employer or university, most private practices will be able to provide this for you for a reasonable cost. A letter may also be required by your GP if you need to be referred to a specialist, or if you choose to have any correspondence passed from your private GP to your physician abroad, or your NHS doctor, for example. Usually, this will be a relatively small administration fee. This is because the GP will spend some of their time drafting an appropriate letter, and having it sent to the required recipient.
Our sick note and referral/medical letter prices
At Vaila Health, we charge £15 for any sick notes or medical letters you may require as a result of your GP consultation.
Summary of our costs for additional services
Cost-saving tip: private healthcare pricing
If the private healthcare company does not display their pricing on the website, it could be for a number of reasons. The price may differ depending on the type of appointment you wish to have, or they may not feel comfortable displaying their prices on their website. If you're unsure, give them a ring and ask! It's their responsibility to make you aware of appointment fees and any additional costs you may incur before you visit them.
At Vaila Health
At Vaila, we want to be upfront about our pricing. We currently have clinics in St Andrews, Perth & Dundee, and all our pricing is the same across the board for each clinic. For specific bloods and medical tests, we may have to source these for you in advance of your appointment, but we will always tell you how much they are going to cost before you choose to come in. With us, you can be comfortable in the knowledge that there will be no unwelcome bill surprises after your appointment!
The cost of seeing a private GP can vary. Different private healthcare companies can charge varying prices, and in the UK the cost of an appointment can range from £50-£275 and upwards. At Vaila Health, regardless of which clinic you are visiting in Scotland, our price is £80 for an appointment with one of our GPs. This cost covers paying our GPs a fair wage and attracting the most qualified and experienced GPs we can. It also covers our overheads, marketing costs and then anything left over keeps Vaila running!
In addition to the appointment cost, it may cost you more if you require a prescription, blood test, any vaccinations or sick notes and referral letters written for you. As mentioned, these costs vary depending on which private practice you choose to visit.
Do you have any questions for us? Is there anything you would like to know more about? Let us know in the comments.
St Andrews | Perth | Dundee
0333 577 5999 | firstname.lastname@example.org