Registering with local health centre on long sit

When on a long house sit, (up to a year), how does one access local health services?
To register new patients the health centre requires proof of identity which is ok, but also proof of address such as a utility bill or tenancy agreement. With all bills in the HO’s name the sitters can provide neither.
Does THS offer any document to cover this eventuality? or will a signed letter from the HO suffice?

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I think this will vary a lot based on country so there is unlikely to be a single answer. like in the US you don’t need a utility bill or rental agreement to go to a doctor. Just money or insurance.

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Hi @KittyFriend thank you for asking a very pertinent question it’s always good to be prepared as we never know when health care will be necessary, hopefully not.

The advice would be to do your research before considering a long (or any) stay in a different country for whatever reason because as @CreatureCuddler says health care, among many other important services, varies widely from country to country … always have that Plan B to cover any eventuality.

Some owners will provide information on local health facilities, doctors and hospitals etc., many places have walk in clinics where you either pay for each visit and any treatment or are covered by national health care insurance if a resident.

I had a nasty finger wound which needed hospital attention and left me with a $1,700 bill, fortunately I had full US health care cover … and to answer the last part of your question THS does not provide any health care advice or supporting documents.

Good luck with your travels

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Thank you, Angela and Creature Cuddler, for your quick replies:)

We have a somewhat unusual situation:
This is the UK where all tax payers should have access to the NHS.
I am the HO. Our lovely house sitters have sold their house and are house-sitting for us while they wait for the house they plan to buy to become available in a few months time.
In the meantime the only address they have is ours, but it can’t be proved in the expected manner.
I will post to say what solution we find in case it is of use to others.

Happy Christmas to all at THS.


I’ve not done any really long sits, but have accessed health care when traveling and it really does depend on where you are.
Here in the US where I am covered by a Medicare supplement plan my insurance provider has reimbursed me for payments as if I they were covering me - so I’ve paid as if I were paying my ‘local’ copay.
In prior years my US insurance has reimbursed me for international ‘emergency’ doctor visits when I’ve been traveling - in Hungary, Malaysia, and Japan.
3 years ago in Scotland I went to the after hours clinic of the NHS because of a possible skin infection. I was examined, provided appropriate antibiotics - no charge, apparently that is the Scottish NHS policy.
Years and year ago in Knysna, SA - also a skin infection. The airbnb hosts suggested the local private hospital ER. I was seen almost immediately on walking in. The only charge was for the cover that went on the thermometer that went into my ear to check my temp. No charge for the doc or the exam. I was told that to be licensed as a private hospital they had to provide emergency care for the cost of the comsummables - in the case about 50 cents US. I did have to pay for the antibiotic prescription (and in SA whenever you get antibiotics you also get probiotics to maintain your stomach flora).
I’ve been lucky - nothing too serious and no big expenses for me.

I would try using a combination of them presenting proof from their previous residence, along with a very simple agreement between the two of you, showing the win-win arrangement that includes an anticipated term and that utilities will be paid by the homeowner. Given you say the NHS is a benefit to all taxpayers, providing their most recent tax return may also be helpful. I think it’s worth a try, but keep in mind that I’m not a UK resident. It’s kind of you to ask on their behalf too.

We are long distance travellers who try to go home once every six months for medical, dentists, opticians etc appointments. One medical emergency we went to A and E in NYC. No problems. While in the Bahamas we were alarmed with a lump on my husbands jaw. He has had jaw bone cancer 7 years ago but is all clear now. The local doctor saw us immediately and gave us some good advice.
I dont know where you are based but our doctors surgery back home does telephone appointments so it doesn’t matter where you are we can talk to him, get advice and act on that advice. They also do video calls. We also are able to have video calls with my husbands consultant which means we don’t go home that often now. I have had teeth extracted in the Canary Islands and a new denture plate fitted, at a cost.
So, in summary we have never felt the need to register anywhere else. We do have some hefty travel insurance which covers illness and injuries. It cost a fortune but it’s well worth it as we are travelling in central and North America. If anyone can recommend cost effective travel health insurance for the over 67s it would be very much appreciated.

Hi @KittyFriend being in the UK they can register as temporary patients with the local surgery if they have been with another practice, having been in the same situation I would advise them to contact your doctors and ask if they qualify.

Good luck and Merry Christmas from the THS team

Thank you everyone for your helpful replies.
I’ll post the outcome when everything re-opens after Christmas.

If you are sitting in Canada, health care is governed provincially so it varies where you are, but in BC you can go to any walk in clinic (availability varies depending on where you are), or got to the hospital ER is you have no other option. You would have to pay for any treatment you received and get reimbursed by travel medical insurance that you may choose to purchase from your own country before you leave.

Good news. The Health Centre has accepted an email from us as sufficient proof of address of the house sitters.


Thank you for the update @KittyFriend that’s good information to have. Happy New Year.