OSHCstudents – The UK’s national health system is called the NHS – National Health Service. You have the right to use the NHS as an international student in the UK.
Through the NHS you can book free appointments with your GP (General Practitioner). You can get a health checkup, emergency treatment, psychiatric treatment and more.
The NHS will provide free services when you need:
- Health advise from a GP
- Hospital treatment in case of an accident or emergency
- Treatment at a hospital appointed by a GP
- Maternity service
- Contraception service
You may be asked to pay for services such as prescription drugs, vaccinations, dental and optical care services.
How do I use the National Health Service (NHS) network?
International students can access the National Health Service while studying in the UK. NHS has regulations by the student’s country.
Students from the EU usually get free treatment because they have a European Health Insurance Card (abbreviated: EHIC).
Non-EEA international students are required to pay an annual premium of £300. Dependents traveling with the student must also pay this fee.
How to make an appointment with a GP?
One of the first things you should do when you arrive in the UK is to find a GP and register to get advice when needed. A GP must not deny you for reasons related to race, sex, age, social class, religion, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition. Research the GP clinics near you to choose the right doctor for you.
Note when registering with a GP:
You need GP advice and see them first so they can refer you to a specialist if necessary.
For an emergency, call 999 for an ambulance, or if you don’t need an ambulance, go to the hospital emergency department (open 24 hours a day).
All GPs offer online services to book or cancel appointments, order repeat prescriptions and view the information of your medical record.
Will you be charged for prescription drugs?
There is no prescribing fee in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but in the UK your doctor may ask you to pay. You receive a free prescription if:
- You are under 16 years old.
- You are 16-18 years old and studying full time
- You are pregnant, have had a baby in the previous 12
- months, and have a valid certificate of maternity exemption.
You have a medical exemption certificate.
Are dental care fees covered?
Dental care is not usually covered by Health Insurance. However, you will be entitled to free NHS dental care if you meet the following criteria:
- You are under 18, or under 19 and studying full-time.
- You are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months.
- You are in an NHS hospital and the dentist in the hospital is treating you.
Remember to pay the annual insurance premium to ensure that you always have student health insurance while studying in the UK.