A person recieving an eye exam from a nurse

Getting treatment on the NHS

Do I have to pay for my treatment?

The following NHS treatments are free for everyone:

  • GP consultation services
  • some emergency treatment (but not follow-up treatment)
  • family planning services
  • treatment of certain communicable diseases

You may need to pay for some other services, such as:

  • NHS prescriptions
  • NHS dental treatment
  • sight tests, glasses and contact lenses.

Students can be entitled to help towards the cost of these services – you can apply for a certificate to receive free or reduced -cost treatment. All you need to do is complete a HC1 application form, which is available from an Information Point, The Students' Union at UWE and their Advice Centre, or any doctors or dentists surgery. Most UK, EU and international students are eligible.

If you’ve had treatment within the last three months, you can claim the cost back by filling in a HC5 form, which is also available from the same locations.

International and EU/EEA students

Basic medical care is free from the NHS from the beginning of your stay if you are an EU/EEA student.

International students on a programme of study of six months or more will be subject to an Immigration Health Surcharge as part of their visa application in order to access medical care in the UK on arrival. 

We strongly recommend that you register with a GP within the first couple of weeks of arriving in the UK, even if you do not feel ill. This will make it easier to see a doctor when you need to.

If you need to be referred to hospital by your doctor, you will not need to pay for anything other than prescriptions. There are waiting lists for all non-urgent appointments and procedures, so you may have to wait to be treated until you go home.

If you are studying for less than six months, you are strongly advised to take out personal medical insurance (unless you come from another EU/EEA country or a country with a reciprocal health agreement). Before you come to the UK, EU/EEA students should contact the health authorities in their own country to complete Form E128 or they should bring their European health insurance card.

For more information see our international student health information.

Healthcare services for students 

The University Health Centre aims to provide accessible healthcare for everyone working or studying at the University. Please register if you would like to book an appointment. If you have any questions please get in touch.

Please take a look at our Wellbeing Service if you feel that you need support with your mental health and personal development needs.

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