Medical Forum
This not an emergency service, in case of a diving incident, please contact your local Coastguard, nearest recompression chamber or emergency services.
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Question
Posted : December 6, 2005
Am I right in thinking that treatment for DCS is on the NHS or do some Chambers bill the diver afterwards?


Answer
Posted : December 6, 2005
If you are treated for decompression sickness in the UK then that is done on the NHS. It is considered an "emergency treatment" and so is fully funded by our hard earned taxes.

Some chambers are within the grounds of NHS hospitals and some are located at privately owned hospitals or buildings, but it doesn't matter where they are as the treatments are payed for by the Health Authority that sits over the area your GP works in.

Where problems arise is if a diver is not registered to a GP, but this is unlikely if you are born and live in the UK as you probably have been for your childhood shots.

But if you are say an expat working in the UK and haven't registered to a local GP then there may be a problem. The rules are that anyone working in the UK is entitled to register on the NHS once they have worked for 6 months over here, so cover yourself with insurance if you still have time left to do.

Effectively no chamber should ever bill a patient in the UK, so don't worry about cost when it comes to DCS.
Answer provided by Dr Oliver Firth
Dr Ollie Firth
Disclaimer:
The views expressed by Dr Firth & Dr Jules are their own and the publishers accept no liability for the advice and views expressed by Dr Firth , Dr Jules, or other users, which are provided as a general service to divers. Users are warned that secondary posts are the views of other users and may not be medically correct.
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