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Healthcare for International Students

Before you arrive

Vaccinations - most UK students have the Meningitis C vaccination before they start university. It is a good idea to get the Meningitis C vaccination before you come to the UK, especially if you are under 25 and plan to live in halls of residence. If you do not have the vaccination when you come to the UK, you can ask your GP for it when you register.

X-rays for Tuberculosis - if you come from a country that has a high incidence of Tuberculosis you should bring an X-ray with you which is no more than six months old. You will need to show the X-ray at the UK arrival airport when you go through the Health Control Unit. Click here for a list of countries.   

Medical records and medication- If you take regular medication, you should bring enough supplies to the UK to last you a few months. We recommend you ask your doctor for your medical records, or at least for a record of the prescriptions you need in order to access the medication in the UK. The medical records should be in English.

Health Insurance -if your course is under 6 months and your home country does not hold a reciprocal healthcare agreement with the UK, then you and your dependants will be charged for all treatment you receive from the NHS.  If this is the case then you should consider taking out private health insurance before you arrive in the UK.

Healthcare in the UK / The National Health Service (NHS)

Arriving in the UK for the first time is exciting, but it’s very important you look after your health as you adjust to your new lifestyle. This page gives you tips on looking after your health in the UK and where to obtain medical treatment and advice

The NHS is the UK’s government-run health service, which provides treatment and healthcare for UK residents. Many NHS services are free of charge, such as consultations with a doctor, family planning and emergency treatment at NHS hospitals. However you will have to pay nominal charges for prescribed medicines.

The following link provides an overview of the most common services provided by the NHS in England, such as emergency and urgent care, general practitioners (GPs) or dental services. Also get advice on how to access each service, do's and don’ts in emergencies and the costs involved (if any).

NHS Services explained

Help with Healthcare costs

If your course of study is for six months or more, you (and any accompanying dependants) will qualify for treatment under the National Health Service (NHS), from the beginning of your stay, on the same basis as UK nationals. 

If you are here to study for less than six months on a course that is not substantially funded by the UK Government and are from a country with which the UK does not hold a reciprocal healthcare agreement, then you will be charged for all treatment you receive from the NHS except for emergency care.

Although treatment on the NHS is free at the point of delivery, there may still be some costs (for example, prescribed medicines).  Sometimes these costs can be reclaimed, which should ease any added stress. The following pages explain in full detail how to claim the money to which you are entitled. Help with healthcare costs

In order to use the NHS, you must first register with a doctor (also called a 'General Practitioner' or 'GP'). GPs are doctors who are trained in diagnosing a wide range of health problems and are based in local offices called ‘surgeries’ or health centres

Registering with a Doctor

It is very important that you register with a doctor (as soon as possible after your arrival in Newcastle, particularly if you will live the majority of the year in the city. GP practices can help with the majority of your health needs and are experienced in providing healthcare services to young adults.

It’s particularly important to register if you have a long term health condition such as asthma or diabetes. Pick a GP practice convenient to where you live as you may need to visit the practice when you are feeling unwell.

Student Support and Wellbeing provides a list of local doctors, so that you can choose the one most convenient for you.  Follow link to the Keeping Healthy, Keeping Safe Leaflet, or to find a local practice that you can register with contact the North East Family Health Services Agency on telephone 0191 219 6200 or access NHS Choices at where you can enter your postcode to find practices close to where you live.

How to register with a GP

Choose the GP surgery that you want to register with and check it covers the area where you live. Once you have found your nearest surgery, you should go along to the surgery, you will be asked to complete a registration form with details of your name address and date of birth. You will also be asked to provide

  • your passport/visa
  • evidence that you are a student (for example, your enrolment letter)
  • Proof of your UK address (for example, accommodation contract or tenancy agreement).
  • For more information see Keeping Healthy, Keeping Safe Leaflet

NHS Choices


Help on campus from Student Support and Wellbeing

Student Support and Wellbeing provides a variety of services that can help you during your time at the University.

The Counselling and Mental Health service is a multi-disciplinary team offering a range of support for students with personal, emotional and mental health issues. This service is free, confidential and available to all students currently enrolled at the University. Please click here for further details.

The Disability and Dyslexia support service offers information, advice and support to disabled students and those with a long standing medical condition or specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia) that may affect their studies. For further information please click here.

Help in an emergency

If you think you may require emergency medical assistance whilst on campus, please call Security on extension 3200, who will then call an ambulance on your behalf. If you are not on campus, please dial 999 from any telephone and ask for an ambulance. You do not need to pay to make a 999 call or for emergency assistance.

Please note: You should only dial 999 in the event of a real emergency. Please make a note of your GP’s telephone number and the telephone number of your local police station in case you need help for minor incidents.

If you feel unwell and you are unable to access immediate medical care for any reason, the National Health Service (NHS) provides a confidential help and advice line called NHS 111, just dial 111 and nursing staff can discuss your symptoms with you and can help to establish whether further medical attention is required.