Non-UK residents will also be charged for hospital treatments. If you are an overseas visitor to the UK you may be charged for some treatments and, depending on how urgent it is, you will usually have to pay in advance.
Different rules may apply to visitors from the EEA (European Economic Area). For more detailed advice see the NHS Information for EU/EEA visitors.
The NHS is a residence-based healthcare system. If you are planning to live and work in England you’ll have to register with a general practitioner (GP). GPs are the first point of contact for nearly all NHS patients. They can direct you to other NHS services, and are experts in family medicine, preventative care, health education and treating people with multiple and long-term conditions.
How Does The NHS Work For International Students?
It is important that all students register with a GP. We encourage you you to do this as soon as possible as you cannot predict when you are going to feel unwell. Being ill and away from home for the first time can be very stressful.
Students on courses of 6 months or more.
International students who are studying on a course of 6 months or more are eligible for full health care (excluding dental treatment) under the NHS. In addition if your spouse or/and children are resident in the UK with you as dependents they are also entitled to the same heath care service.
Students on courses of less than 6 months.
If your course is less than 6 months, but is at least 35% UK government funded you will qualify for free treatment subject to providing evidence of the funding.
If you do not meet the above criteria it is important that you take out medical insurance for you and your dependents from a reputable company. Medical insurance should be arranged for the duration of your stay as you will only be entitled to limited free NHS treatment.
What does the NHS provide free of charge?
If you are entitled to NHS treatment, the following will be free of charge:
- Free consultation with your GP
- Free hospital treatment in Accident and Emergency
- Free hospital treatment if your GP recommends it
- Free contraceptive services
- Free maternity care
You will need to pay for
- Medicines prescribed by your GP (referred to as prescription costs)
- Some GP services (e.g. vaccinations for travel)