Where can you get help if you don’t feel well while living and studying in the UK?
All don-domestic students, from both inside and outside the EU, will need to prove they have health insurance to cover them for any healthcare they need while in the UK.
EU nationals – If you’re from the EU, all you need is a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which entitles you to free or reduced healthcare from the NHS while you’re living and studying in the UK. If you don’t have one, you can apply for one through your home country’s national health insurance provider.
Non-EU nationals – if you’re from outside the EU, you’ll be required to pay a health surcharge as part of your visa application, which will give you access to the NHS during your stay here.
Neither the EHIC or health surcharge will cover any extra expenses or losses incurred as a result of illness or injury (for example, cancelled travel plans or lost course fees); you can get additional private insurance which will cover these extra expenses.
In the UK, non-emergencies are dealt with in a surgery by a doctor (a General Practitioner or GP). You need to register with a doctor before you are treated, so you must do this within the first week of your arrival in the UK or at your new university town. You do not pay to register with or to consult with a doctor. You can register with a GP by going to the doctor’s surgery. Names and addresses of doctors can be obtained from www.nhs.uk for England or www.nhs24.com (for Scotland).
If you’re feeling unwell you can get an appointment with a doctor or nurse at the university’s health centre. For out-of-hours health advice, you can call the NHS 24 on 08454 24 24 24 – but always get advice in person from a medical professional if anything persists or you’re worried at all.
Although dental treatment is available on the NHS, it is not always free. You can choose which NHS dentist you want to be registered with (it does not need to be the dental practice closest to your residence), but you need to be registered with a dentist before you receive treatment from them. To find a list of NHS registered dentists see www.nhs.uk for England or www.nhs24.com (for Scotland)
Other useful contacts
- Samaritans – 0845 790 90 90 www.samaritans.org
- Student Loans Company – 0845 300 50 90 www.slc.co.uk
- Sexual Health – www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Sexualhealthtopics
- Victim Support – 0845 303 09 00 www.victimsupport.org.uk
- Alcoholics Anonymous – 0845 769 75 55 www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk
- British Pregnancy Advisory – 0845 730 40 30 www.bpas.org
- Debtline – 0808 808 40 00 www.nationaldebtline.co.uk
- Drugs Advice & Helpline – 0800 77 66 00 www.talktofrank.com
- Student Mental Health – Info from the NHS: www.nhs.uk/student-mental-health/