Health care

You may be entitled to free or subsidized treatment in the UK under the National Health Service (NHS). Your UK course needs to be at least six months in duration to be eligible, although free emergency treatment may be available if you are here for less time.
If you’re a national or resident of an EEA (European Economic Area) country, you will receive these benefits regardless of how long your UK course is. This also applies if you are an international student studying a full-time course in Scotland.
If you are not entitled to NHS treatment you should take out international student health insurance before you leave home or as soon as you arrive to study in the UK.
NHS Direct for international students When you’re studying in the UK and need quick access to health advice, you can contact NHS Direct. This is a 24-hour confidential phone line staffed by professionally-qualified nurses who will give you advice and support on self treatment. If there is an emergency or your condition is serious, the nurse will call an ambulance if needed.

You can phone NHS Direct on 0845 4647 (calls are charged at a local rate from the UK only). Information and advice on the most common illnesses, and a range of treatments for them is also available on the NHS Direct website.
Registering with a doctor while studying in the UK Make sure you register with a doctor as soon as you have found somewhere to live in the UK. You can’t receive any NHS treatment until you do. If your place of study has a health centre, you may be able to register there; if not they will recommend a local doctor or GP (General Practitioner) to you.

To register you’ll need:

  • proof of your student status
  • your passport
  • evidence of your new UK home address
    You will then be sent an NHS medical card with an individual identity code, which you can also use to register with a dentist.