NHS (National Health Service)

NHS 111

This service is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time. It is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. Call 111 when you need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency, for example, if:

  • your GP surgery is closed
  • you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
  • you don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call
  • you need health information or reassurance about what to do next

NHS Charges

Once registered with a GP, most care in the NHS is free at the time of delivery, with the following exceptions:

  • Prescription charge
  • Dentistry is free for full-time students up to their 19th birthday. Thereafter NHS subsidised charges are incurred
  • Optometry, including glasses and contact lenses

Students from overseas can register with a GP in the UK and receive free NHS treatment, as long as their course lasts at least six months and (for those with a visa) they have an IHS Reference number. However, the assessment or treatment under the NHS of any pre-existing condition, apparent or not apparent, before arrival to the UK will cause charges to be incurred. Charges depend on what assessments, investigations and procedures are carried out.

Students from the UK on a low income may qualify for help with certain health costs. Entitlement is based on an assessment of your circumstances, such as level of income, savings, etc. To claim, complete form HC1 'Claim for help with health costs'.

Further information about accessing help with NHS Costs through the NHS Low Income Scheme and how to apply is available here.

Information about the NHS for International Students

UK National Health Service (NHS)

Please see the attached pdf file for important information on:

  • Registering with a GP (General Practitioner = Family Doctor) 
  • Long-term Health Conditions
  • Ongoing Medication
  • Emergency NHS Treatment
  • Private Medical Insurance
  • NHS Entitlement
  • NHS Costs and Charges 
  • Specialist NHS Treatment
  • Dental Care

More information can be found from the University of Cambridge International Student Office and the British Council has useful Health Advice for International Students.