Knowing that you and your family’s health is in good hands is of paramount importance, so it’s reassuring to know that Guernsey has an excellent healthcare system to help ensure a better life for you.
Although it is not part of the NHS, Guernsey employs the UK’s best practice across its network of medical centres and the Princess Elizabeth Hospital (PEH).
The healthcare system is partly funded by Guernsey’s Employment and Social Security Committee, with residents paying into an income-related contributions scheme.
GP visits, A&E visits, Ambulance use, Dentists and physiotherapy requested by the GP are all delivered privately in Guernsey and referred to as “Primary Care”. Residents receive a small grant towards the cost of a GP consultation but the remaining balance is paid by the patient (or by private medical insurance if they have subscribed to a suitable policy). This system means that islanders find it easy to get an appointment with their doctor, and the local Accident & Emergency department is efficient.
Specialist care (also called “Secondary Care”) is provided by The Medical Specialist Group (MSG), a private practice of specialist consultants. The cost of treatment and hospitalisation for Secondary Care when referred by a GP or Consultant is covered by the States of Guernsey and this includes any treatment and care which may have to be delivered in the UK.
It’s important to register with the Social Security department as soon as you arrive to benefit from the healthcare system.
Registering with a GP
There are 3 General Practice partnerships within Guernsey, offering access to a total of nine surgeries throughout the island. A visit to the GP must be paid for directly by the recipient, or through healthcare insurance schemes.
The healthcare practices are:
Secondary or specialist care is delivered via the Medical Specialist Group (MSG). The MSG’s consultants provide the majority of medical services, including surgery, performed at the island’s hospital.
The MSG also provides treatment that can be paid for by the patient, known as “private patient care”. The PEH has a private wing (the Victoria Wing) where private patients may elect to stay for inpatient treatment.
If you would like to receive private healthcare, you can ask your GP for a referral or go directly to the MSG.
Guernsey Emergency Services
Guernsey’s Accident & Emergency Department is on-site at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital. It’s important to remember that any emergency medical treatment you receive will incur a charge, this includes ambulance call-outs.
The Guernsey Ambulance & Rescue Service is a charitable company, which operates the island’s only ambulance service. It operates 24 hours a day, providing accident and emergency cover and paramedic response, as well as a non-emergency patient transport service.
An ambulance call-out will incur a charge so it may be beneficial to take out an annual subscription:
Many residents choose to take out health insurance to ensure that they are covered for costs that fall beyond their health benefits. It’s a good idea to consider health insurance for the whole family, just to give you peace of mind that you’re covered for all eventualities.
Locate Guernsey can assist with any questions you may have about healthcare insurance.
Guernsey has 15 pharmacies across the island, making access to prescription medication easy.
While you can easily obtain over-the-counter medication, you’ll need to see a doctor before the pharmacist can dispense prescription-only medicines.
The current charge for prescription medicines is currently capped at £4.60 per item and some residents are exempt from charges – health benefits can also reduce costs.
It’s worth bearing in mind that pharmacists can also offer useful advice about minor illnesses and health conditions alongside suitable medication or treatment.
In Guernsey, all dentistry care is provided on a private basis. There are 13 dental practices on the island, which can be found:
Children’s Health in Guernsey
There are several services available to help if you want to raise a family in Guernsey.
Health visiting is a universal service offered to all families with preschool children. If you have a child, a Health Visitor will be assigned during the antenatal period or commence visiting a day or two after the midwife has discharged your baby. Health visitors offer developmental assessments for babies and young children at key points in their lives.
The School Health Service is committed to promoting and maintaining the health of school-age children. The School Nurses offer a vaccination programme to all school students with routine and catch-up vaccinations available.
The Children’s Dental Service provides a dedicated dental service for preschool and school-age children with particular needs. As of January 2022, all children under the age of 18 years are eligible for one free dental checkup each year with their private dentist.
Guernsey has a thriving natural health community, reflected in its wide breadth of on-island specialists.
From acupuncture, osteopathy and reflexology to meditation and yoga, islanders have access to many alternative health practitioners, who often work collaboratively to create the best outcomes for their patients. Guernsey also has some first-class nutritionists, physiotherapists and sports therapists.
Reciprocal Health Arrangement
As of 1st January 2023, Guernsey has a Reciprocal Health Arrangement with the UK that allows necessary healthcare to be provided to Bailiwick residents visiting the UK and vice versa. Necessary healthcare refers to treatment that is urgent or cannot wait until the patient has returned home.
For further information about the Reciprocal Health Arrangement, please visit: