Jersey isn’t part of the NHS and has its own independent health care system with rules and conditions that differ from the rest of the UK, many countries and even the other Channel Islands.
Employment packages for those working taking up more senior roles within the finance industry or relocating for elsewhere normally include private health insurance, but most newcomers will find that they have to pay for most healthcare when they first move to Jersey.
Seeing a GP or a dentist is not free, as they are in private practice. Even though consultations are subsidised for those who have qualified to work and have made regular social security contributions, it takes six months before anyone is entitled to get a health card after moving here.
However, prescriptions are free to them, which goes some way to offsetting the cost of a medical appointment.
So for many it is essential to arrange health insurance to cover any unforeseen costs, including possible travel to the UK for specialist treatment, and non-emergency treatment at the hospital.
This all might sound a bit negative but there are some very positive aspects to the Jersey system. The first is that waiting times to see most consultants and medical professionals, then perhaps to get referred if conditions are not treatable locally, are often only a few weeks and access to the system expedited if a more serious illness is diagnosed or suspected.
The best advice is for an individual to check with the Health and Social Services Department to ensure they have the accurate information in assessing their eligibility – either as a resident or visitor – for access to free health care and treatment.