Healthcare information for international students

Find out about healthcare in the UK, what medical care you are eligible for and what is available.

Ways to get healthcare

Read our guide about health services in the UK to find out where to go for help when you're here.

We recommend the International Student App which includes advice on getting healthcare

National Health Service

The UK has the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS is a publicly-funded system which provides healthcare for residents in the UK.


You should be covered by the NHS if you have paid the immigration surcharge for your current period of immigration permission, or if your course lasts six months or more and you are an EEA national with a European Health Card.

If your course lasts less than six months you are not covered by the NHS. You should take out medical insurance to cover medical costs. You will also need to pay for any medicines prescribed by a doctor. The UKCISA website has more information about eligibility and medical costs.


The NHS does not cover certain medical care. Certain conditions and treatments are not covered, including:

  • treatments for which there is no scientific evidence for any benefits
  • cosmetic procedures
  • treatments for mild conditions which will resolve on their own
  • interventions which do more harm than good.

Before you arrive

Find out what you should do before you join us as an international student, so that you do not have to worry about healthcare when you arrive.

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