National Health Service treatment - who is entitled?
Whether you are entitled to National Health Service (NHS) treatment depends on the duration of your programme of study at UCL.
If your programme of study at UCL is for six months or more
You will qualify for National Health Service (NHS) treatment from the beginning of your stay. We strongly recommend that you register with a General Practitioner within the first few weeks of your arrival at UCL even if you do not feel ill.
What is a General Practitioner?
The General Practitioner or GP is a general doctor who has specialised in family health. They are used to seeing patients with different health problems. For most health problems, the GP is usually the first doctor you consult. If you have a complicated problem or an illness that requires specialist advice the GP may refer you to the appropriate doctor.
Registration with an NHS doctor entitles you to:
- Free consultation with your GP
- Free hospital treatment in Accident and Emergency (A&E)
- Free hospital treatment if your GP recommends it (a few conditions are not eligible for treatment on the NHS)
- You will be asked to pay for any medication your GP prescribes at £7.40 per item.
Gower Place Practice
Gower Place Practice, located on the UCL campus, is an NHS practice and you can register there if you live within the area of North or Central London that it covers. You can start registering there from Monday 9th January 2012. To register you need to:
- Print and complete the UCL students registration form (a copy will be available during ISOP)
- Go to the Gower Place Practice to register in person Monday to Friday between 9.00-11.00 and 14.00-16.00 (the afternoon slot is normally busier so try to go in the morning if possible)
- You need to enrol on your programme of study prior to registering with Gower Place Practice as you will be asked to produce your UCL student card with your completed registration form.
Is my spouse or child eligible for NHS treatment?
If your spouse or children under 16years of age (or up to the age of 19 if they are in full-time education) are staying with you for the duration of your programme at UCL, they will also be eligible for NHS treatment on the same basis as you.
If your programme of study at UCL is for less than six months
Students from the European Economic Area (EEA) countries or Switzerland
Please ensure you carry a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your home country, as you will need to have this card to access free treatment. The EHIC entitles you and your family members to all medically necessary treatment on the same basis as the students whose programme of study at UCL is six months or more.
The EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare and does not cover being flown back to your home country.
Students from non-EEA countries with which the UK holds bilateral healthcare agreements* as below:
Nationals of, and UK nationals in, the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Croatia, Georgia, Gibraltar, Yugoslavia i.e. Serbia & Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, New Zealand, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
Residents irrespective of nationality of the following countries: Anguilla, Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Falkland Islands, Iceland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Montserrat, St. Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands.
*The list of countries is correct as of 7th December 2011. Please note that this list changes, as new arrangements are agreed, or existing agreements end.
You will be entitled to free NHS hospital treatment that is needed promptly for a condition that arose after your arrival in the UK. This exemption will also apply to your family members if they are living permanently with you in the UK for the duration of your course (please see the definition of family members on page two).
Students from non-EEA countries and countries with which the UK does not hold a bilateral healthcare agreement
You will be charged for any treatment you receive other than free emergency hospital treatment. This is only the treatment given in an NHS Accident and Emergency department. If you are admitted on to a ward or given an outpatient appointment, charges will start applying. It is therefore essential that you take out medical insurance for the duration of your stay in the UK.
If you need a consultation with a GP you can visit Gower Place Practice, where a consultation will cost £75. You will be provided with a receipt which you can use to claim this fee from your medical insurance.
CAN I OBTAIN MORE OF MY PRESCRIBED MEDICATION IN THE UK?
There is no guarantee that you will be able to get the same medication as prescribed to you in your home country. In order to get medication in the UK, you need to be assessed by a doctor who will decide what medication you need. If your course is three to six months long and you are on regular medication, you are advised to bring with you sufficient supplies for the whole duration of your programme of study.
You are strongly advised to get vaccinated against meningitis and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) prior to arriving in the UK or as soon as possible after you arrive.
All GP surgeries in the UK will be able to provide you with information how to get vaccinated and how to recognise the symptoms of meningitis. When detected early meningitis can be effectively treated, but if allowed to develop it can be fatal. Even if you are not otherwise entitled to full NHS treatment, any treatment for meningitis will be free of charge.
Some dental practices in the UK provide NHS treatment but many do not; a full list of those who do is available on the NHS website. If you already have a GP then your dentist will contact your GP to confirm your NHS entitlement. If accepted, your dentist will ask you for the NHS number on your medical card.
Even if you are entitled to NHS treatment, you may still need to contribute towards the cost of your dental treatment. If you are not entitled to NHS treatment, or the dentist you choose does not take NHS patients you will need to meet full cost of your treatment.
You will normally need to pay for an eye test. If you need glasses or contact lenses, the optician will give you a prescription. The cost of frames and lenses varies greatly.
You can contact the UCL Student Psychological Services if you are facing emotional and psychological problems. You can talk to a counsellor about anything that is causing you to feel worried or distressed. The Student Psychological Service is entirely confidential and offers a range of services from one-to-one sessions with a qualified counsellor to group therapy and self-development workshops.
You can contact the UCL Student Psychological Services directly to book an appointment. No GP referral is needed.
STUDENT DISABILITY SERVICES
You can contact UCL Student Disability Services if you feel you may have an impairment, mental or physical health condition or specific learning difficulty that impacts on your ability to study or to engage in other aspects of university life.