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If you bring any medication into the UK, also carry a letter {translated into English} from your doctor explaining what the medicine is, and what it is for. Similarly, if you are undergoing any long- term medical treatment, you should also bring a letter from your doctor, counsellor, or hospital specialist. This letter can be shown to a relevant UK specialist if further treatment is needed.

Students may also arrange to speak to the College Nurse directly. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, we also recommend that you bring a copy of your prescription.

UK medical services include:

  • Consulting a GP (doctor)
  • Most other GP services, such as visiting a clinic for a Non-emergency treatment in a hospital.

Medical insurance: 

Even if you qualify for these free NHS services, you may still wish to take out private medical insurance. Sometimes it can take several days to get an appointment with an NHS GP, and there are long waiting lists for non-emergency NHS services. Some students will require insurance for certain medical services. 

Under the National Health Service (NHS), all students are entitled to free emergency hospital treatment in an Accident & Emergency department.

You do not need medical insurance for emergency care. The NHS also provides a full range of free, non-urgent healthcare services, but these services are only available to some students, depending on the terms of your visa. Private medical insurance could give you much quicker access to treatment if you need it.

Students on Tier 4 visas

If you come to the UK on a Tier 4 visa, the cost of free NHS healthcare will be included in the cost of your visa application.

This is called the ‘Immigration Health Surcharge’, and it gives you free access to the full range of free services provided by the NHS.

Certain healthcare costs are not covered by the NHS. All students will have to pay for these at the point of delivery.

These include:

  • The prescription charge. Although the medicines themselves are free, each prescription is charged at £9.00 per item
  • Certain GP services such as travel vaccinations
  • Dental Treatment

Please note: The £9.00 prescription charge is only for NHS patients – this includes you if you become an NHS patient under the terms of your Tier 4 visa. Prescription charges for private patients are considerably more.

Students on a Short-Term Study visa

A Short-Term Study visa does not entitle you to free healthcare on the NHS. This means that you will need private medical insurance.

If you do not have private medical insurance, and you require non-urgent healthcare, you will be required to pay at the point of service. This can be extremely expensive, so it is very important to arrange your insurance before coming to the UK.

You should ensure that this insurance covers all additional costs that might result from illness, such as a flight home.

Students on EU Nationals

EU nationals on courses lasting less than six months. If your home country is a member of the European Union, you will need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to receive free NHS healthcare. You must obtain your EHIC before leaving home.

If you have an EU passport, but you normally live outside the EU, you will usually have to pay for healthcare in the UK. In this case, you should take out private medical insurance.

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