Anyone thinking of moving to Shetland will obviously need to consider the local healthcare. Fortunately, Shetland is well provisioned for the health and social care needs of this small but vibrant community; here are some of the most important, practical queries for people thinking about a life on the isles.
Do I have to pay for healthcare in Shetland?
As with the rest of Scotland, healthcare is free at point of use from NHS Scotland. Health spending in Shetland is £2,404 per person in the isles, higher than the Scottish average.
Where can I register with a GP?
Shetland has 10 GP surgeries across the isles, and although certain areas are remote, almost everyone has a GP within a reasonable distance.
The Lerwick Health Centre is the largest surgery, serving Shetland’s largest town with nearly 9,000 people registered. In addition to GPs, the Lerwick Health Centre utilises an innovative system of Advanced Nursing Practitioners - senior nurses who can deal with minor or straight-forward medical issues on the day, freeing up GPs’ time for more complex cases.
The south Mainland is served by the Levenwick Medical Practice, while over on the Westside there are surgeries in Scalloway, Walls and Bixter. The north of Shetland is provided for by the surgeries in Brae and Hillswick, while residents of Yell, Unst and Whalsay have surgeries on their own islands.
Smaller islands, such as Fetlar and Fair Isle, do not have their own surgeries, but do have nursing provision and residents can be registered at the closest GP surgery.