The National Health Service (NHS) is funded by the UK government and includes services provided by family doctors (general practitioners), hospitals, the ambulance service and opticians. Some NHS services are free to everyone, some are subsidised and for some you will have to pay the full cost.
Student route/ student route visitors and tier 4 visa holders who are studying for more than 6 months, can use the NHS in a similar same way to an ordinarily resident person while their visa remains valid. This means you can get treatment from the NHS from the beginning of your stay. You will not have to pay to see a doctor or other health professional and all investigations (for example, blood tests and x-rays) and procedures are free. You may have to pay for some dental treatment and for medicines prescribed by a doctor, depending on your income. This also applies to your spouse or civil partner and children. Children under 16, or under 19 and in full-time education, do not normally have to pay for any treatment
Even if you're entitled to free healthcare on the NHS you should consider purchasing insurance that covers other related costs such as the cost of returning home if a relative is ill, or loss of fees if illness prevents you from completing your course. You can find out more about healthcare in the UK at the UKCISA website.
Students with a standard visitor visa can only receive certain services (see those listed under 'Treatment that is free for everyone'). This means it is especially important for visitors to hold comprehensive travel insurance when coming to the UK. If you are a visitor to the UK and are unsure about the services you can access please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice.
Advice specific to EEA and Swiss Nationals
- Those who hold settled or pre-settled status in the UK are entitled to access free NHS healthcare in the UK as above.
- Those who hold student route/ student route visitor visas are entitled to access free healthcare as above.
- Short-term visitors from the EU can continue to access medically necessary healthcare if they have a valid EU-issues EHIC or are a Norwegian citizen with a valid Norwegian password.
- If you are a citizen of Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you may have to pay for any NHS healthcare you receive. Any treatment that you need to pay for will be charged at 150% of the national NHS rate.
If you are a visitor to the UK and are unsure about the services you can access please contact email@example.com for further advice.
Registering with a doctor
For those holding a Student route, student visitor visa or those with settled or pre-settled status, whilst you're in the UK you should register with a doctor near to where are living in the UK. If you're in England for a short visit but need to see a GP, you can register as a temporary patient with a local doctor but may have to pay for those services.
Accessing emergency services
If you have an emergency and need to contact the fire, police, or ambulance service, you should call the emergency services on 112 or 999.