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6.3 Medical Provision for International Students

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Students from Britain, the European community and any country with reciprocal health arrangements are eligible for free treatment under the National Health Service (NHS).   Information on the entitlement of international students to free hospital treatment under the National Health Service is available on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website

If you are on a full-time course of study lasting six months or more or on a course of any duration that is substantially funded by the UK Government, you are entitled to free hospital treatment in England.  This entitlement extends to your spouse and children (under the age of 16, or 19 if in further education) if they are living permanently with you for the duration of your course.  Students with a Tier 4 visa will have paid the Immigration Health Charge as part of their visa application.  Individual hospitals are responsible for deciding whether a patient is entitled to free treatment or not, in accordance with the relevant regulations.  In order to establish entitlement, hospitals can ask you to provide documentation that supports your claim that you are studying in the UK.

Private insurance should be taken out by anyone coming from overseas for less than six months.   If you are not exempt from hospital charges, or only partially exempt, you are strongly advised to take out appropriate private healthcare insurance for the length of your stay in the UK.

Treatment for medical emergency is free, regardless of status.

If you are intending to undertake a field trip abroad, you should seek advice about medical insurance.