A horizontal image of a man in a doctor's clinic smiling at the receptionist booking him in for a medical check. He looks very cheerful and positive.

The National Health Service (NHS) is the UK’s state health service which provides treatment for UK residents through a wide range of health care services. Some of these services are free of charge, and some you have to pay for.

The NHS provides primary care through doctor’s surgeries and walk-in centres, and secondary care through specialists who are usually based at a hospital. Most hospitals (not all) have Accident and Emergency Departments (A&E Departments) which are open 24 hours a day and deal with patients needing emergency hospital treatment. 

You can access primary care through a GP as an NHS patient or a private fee-paying patient. It is important to check eligibility before arriving in the UK. Private health care can be extremely expensive, so it is very important to arrange medical insurance before coming to the UK. 

If you have a pre-existing condition, it is also important to bring sufficient medication to last the duration of your course. This will help you to avoid potentially high medical bills that you may be subject to as a student on a short course. 

For further information about the NHS service, including registering with a GP and eligibility, please refer to Healthcare - A Guide for International Students available below. 

If you have queries, please contact the Student Experience Officer

Tel: +44 (0)151 702 9591