General Practice is a British term used to refer to the general medical service provided to each individual via his or her General Practitioner (or "G.P.").
This is the medical doctor with whom the person is registered as a patient and the medical practitioner through whom that person usually makes first contact with the National Health Service (NHS) with any new concern or new episode of an existing condition. Exceptions to this point-of-first-contact are in cases of emergency admission to hospital (either by ambulance or other visit to a hospital casualty department, e.g. immediately following an accident), in cases of individuals who make private arrangements directly with the provider, e.g. for immunisations at Travel Clinics offered by airlines or other travel companies, and in cases of persons at locations where other services are immediately available, such as at some sporting events, the availability of medical provision in the workplace or in institutions such as Prisons.
In the British National Health Service (NHS) patients on the practice list of a G.P. receive care without payment at the point of receiving that care because it is paid for by government through the taxation system. General Practitioners may also have private patients but while NHS patients are not charged for NHS prescriptions, private patients may nor receive NHS prescriptions.
Some General Practitioners operate as group practices, sharing premises and work-loads.
- A physician working in the field of General Practice is called a General Practitioner (or "G.P.").
Links to related areas of this website:
- Glossary section: General Medical Terms.