Living in the UK
The National Health Service (NHS) is the UK’s state health service which provides treatment for UK residents and certain overseas visitors. Some services are free but others have to be paid for.
The following NHS services are free for EVERYONE irrespective of nationality:
- Emergency treatment (but not follow up treatment)
- Family planning services
- Diagnosis and treatment of certain communicable diseases
- Compulsory psychiatric treatment
If you are an EEA National (European Economic Area) you and your family should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before coming to the UK. This card entitles the holder to full NHS treatment on the same basis as a British National. You need to apply for this in your own country.
- Students on a Tier 4 visa will either have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge or be covered because they applied for a visa before the introduction of the IHS. This entitles you to use other NHS services such as a GP or hospitals. Most of these services will be free at the point of use however some NHS services will always have to be paid for e.g. dental treatment and prescriptions.
- If you come to the UK on a short-term study visa or on a standard visitor visa then you will need to arrange travel insurance from your home country before arrival in the UK as you will not be entitled to free healthcare in the UK.
You can find out more about the UK health care system on the UKCISA website and on insurance in general in the consumer section of these webpages.
Our leaflet below also contains information on this subject:
Insurance for EU and international students