Medical care for international students

National Health Service (NHS)

Full-time international students in the UK are entitled to medical care through the National Health Service (NHS). Information for international students on the use of the NHS, the United Kingdom’s state health service is available here.

Most health related problems can be dealt with by General Medical Practitioners (GPs) such as those working at the University Medical Centre. Further information can be found from the UK Council for International Student Affairs.

Immigration Health Surcharge

Students applying for a new Tier 4 visa/visa extension and coming to/remaining in the UK for 6 months or longer are required to pay an immigration health surcharge as part of their visa application fee.

This fee is mandatory, with the exception of certain exemptions, and your visa application may be refused or rejected if you do not pay it or pay an incorrect amount for your stay. Find out more

If you are on a course lasting six months or more you can get treatment from the NHS from the beginning of your stay. You will not have to pay to see a doctor or other health professional and all investigations (for example, blood tests and x-rays) and procedures are free. You may have to pay for some dental treatment and for medicines prescribed by a doctor, depending on your income. This also applies to your spouse or civil partner and children. Children under 16, or under 19 and in full-time education, do not normally have to pay for any treatment.

Studying for six months or less?

If you are on a course lasting six months or less, you can be seen as a temporary patient at the Medical Centre (Canterbury campus) and the Sunlight Centre (Medway campus), but you will be unable to register as a patient. You may not be entitled to further NHS treatment (for example onward referral to hospital services, if required), so you should arrange private medical insurance.

See also: Health Services