The National Health Service (NHS) is a public funded system which provides health care for residents in the United Kingdom. The use of the NHS will vary depending on how long you are studying in the UK. It is therefore important that you have the correct travel and medical insurance arranged before you begin studying in the UK.
It is a good idea to research and gather different quotes from different insurance providers, to see which has the best price. You may consider Endsleigh Insurance, they have produced a special health insurance policy for international students and their spouses or civil partners and children in the UK.
Information for courses under 6 months
If you are here for less than 6 months you are required to obtain health insurance from your own country and provide evidence of this as part of the immigration process. If you already have medical insurance in your home country, check whether you can extend it to cover your stay in the UK, as well as looking at options available from UK insurers.
Students from another country in the European Union, studying for less than 6 months, will be required to have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which must be obtained from your home country.
Information for courses 6 months or more
As you are studying a course for six months or more in England, you will qualify for NHS (National Health Service) treatment from the beginning of your stay on the same basis as anyone who is ordinarily resident in the UK. Even if you are entitled to free NHS treatment whilst in the UK, you should consider taking out insurance which covers other medical-related costs.
An insurance policy may cover, for example:
- lost fees if you are unable to complete your course
- costs of returning home if a relative is ill
- costs of a relative visiting you in the UK if you fall ill
- costs of returning to your home country for treatment
- or in the worst possible situation, returning a body home for burial
There will be surcharge for NHS treatment following new laws coming into effect from 6th April 2015, this will affect international students as follows:
- A health surcharge is required to be paid by international students (non-EEA nationals) who apply to come to the UK to study for a time-limited period of more than 6 months - see here for more information.
- This is also required to be paid by non-EEA nationals who are already in the UK and apply to extend their stay.
- Students are required to pay the surcharge when they are applying for their visa, as part of the immigration process. Applicants must make sure they have completed their immigration application and paid the surcharge for the duration of their visa.
Doctors, Dentist and Opticians
You should register with a local doctor (General Practitioner) in a health centre or Surgery near where you live in Milton Keynes. You will need to provide these details to the International Team within 10 days of your arrival.
Students are also advised to register with a dentist, see here for help finding an NHS dentist.
The NHS website offers an overview of NHS eye care services and allows you to search for services near you.