How to Access Services
The healthcare system in Guernsey is different to that of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.
In Guernsey and Alderney, many health and social care related services are paid for by you directly and others are funded through taxation and contributions to the Social Security Department's Funds. The following services will incur a charge:
- GP visits
- A&E visits
- Ambulance use
- Dentists (whether in the dentists surgery or the A&E) and
- Physiotherapy requested by the GP.
You will need to pay for visits to General Practitioners (G.P. s) as they are in private practice. General practice (G.P.) medicine is organised in three partnership groups on Guernsey and in two practices on Alderney. There are a number of surgeries spread geographically across Guernsey.
Island Medical Centre, Alderney
Eagle Medical Practice, Alderney
Costs of G.P. visits can be reduced by a Health Benefit Grant from the Social Security Department (SSD) for each doctor and nurse consultation. Social Security also provides other financial assistance in certain circumstances. For more information see our page on 'Fees and Prescriptions'.
If you have an urgent problem and need to be seen by a GP after 6:00 pm Monday to Friday and from midday on Saturday until 8:00 am on Monday morning you can telephone one of the normal practice numbers and you will automatically be transferred to the Out of Hours Service. You may be offered telephone advice by a Doctor (for which there may be a charge), be asked to attend for a consultation at either the 'Primary Care Centre' (located at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital) or the Accident and Emergency Department or be visited at home, whichever is felt to be the most appropriate.
A combined 'Primary Care' organisation of doctors provide 24 hour 365 day a year Accident & Emergency cover on site at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital. Alderney doctors will provide treatment in the A and E department at the Mignot Memorial Hospital when they are called in. Visits to the Accident & Emergency department will incur a charge.
You can call an emergency ambulance by dialling either 999 or 112. The ambulance will bring you to the A&E department of the Princess Elizabeth Hospital.
The Guernsey Ambulance and 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. A specialist emergency ambulance responding to an emergency call will incur a charge of up to £195 for each response. A non-emergency transfer by ambulance booked in advance by a Health Care Professional will incur a charge of up to £86, other charges will be applied for specialist services (e.g. paramedic treatment). Members of the Ambulance Subscription Scheme are not charged, regardless of the number of emergency responses, diagnosis, treatment or transfers that they need.
The "Yellow Pages" list all the dentists in private practice in the Bailiwick.
The Health & Social Services Department provides a dental service at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital (PEH) for children with particular needs. This service is available for those least able to access dental care and those children with greater dental problems. For more information look at our page on the Children's Dental Service.
If you need emergency dental treatment outside normal working hours, you should telephone the Princess Elizabeth Hospital (PEH) on: (01481) 725241 .
All doctor's surgeries have a pharmacy/chemist on site and there are others located throughout the island. For information about the cost of prescriptions visit our page on 'Fees and Prescriptions'
Please click on the PDF documents below to see the rota of which pharmacies are open, and their opening times, on Sundays and Bank Holidays during 2013.
The first indication that you may need hospital treatment will come from your G.P. who will refer you to a Consultant of the Medical Specialist Group (MSG). Between them, the Consultants provide most of the medical services, including surgery, undertaken at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital. Your consultant will decide whether or not hospital treatment is necessary and, if so what form it should take.
Everyone who normally lives in Guernsey, Alderney, Herm or Jethou and has been registered for the payment of contributions at the Social Security Department is covered by the 'Specialist Health Insurance Scheme' and so may receive specialist care and treatment free of charge. Children are covered if at least one parent or other adult with whom the child lives is registered for payment of contributions. Sark residents are not covered by the scheme.
The scheme covers specialist consultations, treatment, operations and procedures at the MSG premises and the hospitals, and also physiotherapy treatment in hospital if it is necessary as part of specialist medical procedures. It does not cover cosmetic surgery, assisted reproduction (IVF) or sterilisation (unless there is a clinical need), Dentistry or GP consultations, or treatment at the Accident and Emergency Department or Primary Care Centre.
Patients with private medical cover for specialist treatment may choose to consult the MSG, either privately or under the States scheme. It must be established, before treatment starts, exactly how the treatment is funded. For more information on charges for private specialist treatment visit our 'Fees & Prescriptions'page.
Health & Social Services Department
The main role of the Health & Social Services Department (HSSD) is to advise the States on matters relating to the mental, physical and social wellbeing of the people of Guernsey and Alderney. It is responsible for:
- Promoting, protecting and improving personal, environmental and public health;
- Preventing or diagnosing and treating illness, disease and disability;
- Caring for the sick, old, infirm and those with disabilities;
- Providing a range of social services to all age groups including ensuring the welfare and protection of children, young people and their families and ensuring that the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.
For more information on individual services provided by the HSSD see the A to Z of Health & Social Services.
Sometimes an individual may need more specialised and complex services that are not delivered on Guernsey and an off-Island referral is required. This is mainly complex hospital based services, but also includes complex children, mental health and learning disability clients.
For more information visit our page on 'Off Island Treatment'.
Travel and Health
Guernsey has healthcare agreements with several countries which means that visitors can receive immediate necessary treatment at a reduced cost, or sometimes free, if something does go wrong during their stay. The countries which have agreements with Guernsey are: Australia, Austria, Iceland, the Isle of Man, Jersey, New Zealand, Portugal, and Sweden. It is important to note that the European Health Insurance Card is not valid.
The healthcare agreements do not cover the cost of returning you home (repatriation). For visitors to the islands it may also be necessary to charter a plane to seek suitable medical treatment off the island. Therefore, it is advisable to ensure that you have some form of international health insurance when travelling. For more information read our pages on 'Travel and Health'.
There are hundreds of charitable, not for profit, or non-government organisations operating in Guernsey and Alderney. Some of them will help financially with the costs of items or services. Others provide the services themselves. Many provide a collective voice or lobby group and more provide a combination of information, support, advocacy and services to meet your individual needs or the collective needs of the people they represent. All the organisations in this 'third sector' play important roles in providing the infrastructure needed in the overall health and social care system on the islands.
Find out more about voluntary organisations in our pages on 'Finding the Right Support'.
Document downloadsPharmacies Open Bank Holidays 2013 (other opening times) Pharmacies Open Bank Holidays 2013 (other opening times) Pharmacy Rota for Sundays & Bank Holidays 2013 Pharmacy Rota for Sundays & Bank Holidays 2013
Health and Social Services DepartmentCorporate Headquarters, Rue Mignot, St Andrews, Guernsey, GY6 8TW, Channel Islands
Tel: +44 01481 725241 Fax: +44 01481 235341