Registering with a doctor and dentist in Scotland

Make sure you and your family have access to health care in Scotland by registering with a doctor and dentist shortly after you arrive. Find out how.

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man talking to his doctor

Registering with a doctor

To make sure you and your family have access to health care in Scotland you should register with a doctor, known as a General Practitioner (GP), shortly after you arrive. You can register easily with a GP at your local medical centre – they’ll be able to tell you what documents you need to bring with you to sign up with their practice.

Your GP often works alongside community health specialists like nurses and midwives. Where appropriate, they can refer you to hospitals or specialist clinics.

Services for you and your family

Once you register with a medical centre, you’ll be able to make appointments for:

  • General medical problems
  • Information about healthcare and ways to prevent illness
  • Advice about minor illnesses
  • Vaccinations - free for babies, young adults, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses

Free eye tests

You can have a free eye examination once every two years if you are between 16 and 59 years old. You are entitled to a free eye test every year if you are under 16 or over 60 or have certain medical conditions such as glaucoma. You can contact a local optician for more information.

24-hour advice

NHS24 is an online and telephone-based service in Scotland that provides health information and advice, including where to find your local medical centre. Get health information on NHS24.com or call 08454 24 24 24.

Registering with a dentist in Scotland

Make sure you and your family have access to dental care by registering with a dentist shortly after you arrive. You can get a list of local dentists who provide NHS treatments on the NHS24.com website or by calling 08454 24 24 24.

You can choose to receive dental treatment through our National Health Service (NHS) or a private dental centre in Scotland. However, private dental care is more expensive than the NHS.

Dental fees

If you are over 18 years old, you will normally have to pay for your dental treatment. However, you are entitled to free dental care if:

  • You are pregnant
  • Have had a baby in the last 12 months
  • Receive income support or certain other benefits
  • You are 18 and in full-time education

Fees will vary depending on the treatment required.

Services for you and your family

Your NHS dentist will be able to provide advice, care and treatments to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy. They will outline treatment options, costs and let you know what’s covered under the NHS.