When you start your studies with us, we will give you details about registering with a doctor, medical care and health services during your welcome and induction. You should register with a doctor / medical centre as soon as you can. The doctor will probably check your enrolment and attendance with us.
You should also read through the following information about insurance and the health care available to you during your stay in the UK.
Immigration Health Surcharge
The UK has an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) for students from outside the EEA. The IHS is paid, as part of the online visa application process, with any application for a visa for longer than 6 months. The cost is £150 for a visa for up to 12 months.
The IHS is not paid if you apply for a visa that lasts 6 months or less.
The National Health Service (NHS)
The UK National Health Service (NHS) provides treatment and care for UK residents. Some services are free, but others require payment. Emergency care (but not follow-up treatment) and treatment of some infectious diseases is free for everyone.
If you have a study visa for a course of 6 months or longer
You can usually get NHS care from the beginning of your stay in UK. This will include consulting a doctor or health centre, and most doctor’s services.
If you're a national or resident of a European Economic Area (EEA) country
You can receive NHS care whatever the length of your studies. Make sure you bring your EHIC card with you to the UK.
If you're from a country that has bilateral healthcare agreements with the UK and you’re studying in the UK for less than six months
You are only entitled to free NHS hospital treatment that is needed urgently for a condition that developed after arrival in the UK. For a list of the UK's health agreements with other countries, visit the Department of Health website. Ask the health authorities in your home country about the treatment that will be covered in the UK.
You will need to pay for: medicines prescribed by a doctor, eye / optical care, dental care and other services such as travel vaccinations or a sickness certificate.
If your study visa is for less than 6 months, and you are not an EEA / Swiss national
You can register temporarily with a doctor if you are ill or need medical advice. You'll receive free treatment in an emergency or when you are ill, but this is limited to urgent care that cannot be delayed until you can receive care covered by insurance or you can return home.
Do I need health insurance?
Yes! Even if you can receive health treatment from National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, you must arrange medical insurance as part of your general student insurance. This needs to be done before you leave home or as soon as you arrive in the UK.
Travel and medical insurance
You should buy travel insurance to protect yourself, your luggage and personal possessions while you're travelling and during your stay.
You must make sure to take out medical insurance to cover medical and resulting costs if you become ill. These can be substantial, and may include:
- Loss of fees if you are unable to complete your course
- Returning you to your home country for treatment.
- Additional treatment and medical cost not covered by the NHS
- Cost of returning home if a close relative is taken ill
- Cost of a close relative visiting you in the UK if you fall ill
You should also consider additional insurance such as cover for accidental damage for your high value possessions, such as computers or cameras.
Where to purchase insurance
The International Student Policy from Endsleigh Insurance Services Ltd is specifically for international students in the UK. Endsleigh is a leading UK insurer and is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Services Authority. You can save 10% if you arrange instant protection with the International Student Insurance Policy.
Medical conditions, previous illnesses and disabilities
If you receive medical treatment in your home country, have had any serious illnesses in the past, or you're registered disabled, bring with you all your current prescriptions and a report from your doctor. These documents should be in English or translated into English.
The documents should give details of your condition, all treatment and/or medication you require, and any assistance or support you will need while you are studying.
When you arrive in the UK, you may be asked to give proof of the vaccinations you have had (diphtheria, tetanus, polio, meningitis, measles, mumps and rubella). If you are coming from a tuberculosis (TB) high-risk area, you may also need a chest X-ray report.
Requirements vary depending on your country of origin, so check with the British Embassy or High Commission in your home country or at https://www.gov.uk/tb-test-visa.
Also, remember to pack your health certificates in your hand luggage.