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8th Jun 2021

Knowing the Student Essentials about Health Care Services

Have you wondered as a student what healthcare you’re entitled to? The UK has a national health service (NHS) which provides various healthcare services to UK residents, which students may qualify to use for free, depending on circumstance. 

If you’re coming over to the UK to study, you may want to know what health services are available to you. Here, we will list everything that students are eligible for. 

Will I need to register for a GP surgery?

If you are moving to a brand new city and don’t plan to travel home for doctors appointments, then yes, you will need to register with a doctor in your new student city. 

Coventry University provides their own medical center which you can register to as one of their students. 

Is the dentist free for students? 

Dentistry in the UK can be very expensive. Full-time students below the age of 19 are eligible for free dental appointments, however, once a student reaches that age they will be required to pay for all treatments. Like with the GP surgery, you will need to register to a new dentist if you plan to use one in your new student city. 

Some students may be available with a HC2 certificate, which is a low-income scheme by the NHS. 

Are eye tests free for students?

Students with the HC2 certificate are eligible for free eye tests as well as if you have been declared as partially sighted, blind or diagnosed with an illness which affects sight. If you do require an eye test and need to pay, the general cost for an appointment is around £20. 

Do students get free prescriptions?

Depending on certain circumstances, UK students may be eligible for free prescriptions while studying if you have a HC2 certificate from the NHS scheme for low-income households. As of April 2021, the current prescription cost is £9.35 and a prepayment prescription plan is available if you require a lot of medication. 

Are students eligible for flu vaccines?

Unfortunately not. The general requirements for free flu vaccinations are age restricted to 50 and over, however, if you fall into the vulnerable category you will then be able to get the flu vaccination for free. The option to pay for the flu jab at a local pharmacy is available. 

Is contraception free in the UK for students?

Yes, it’s free for all residents. Your choice of contraception is free from sexual health clinics and some GP surgeries. You can also get a free STI/D test by phoning your doctor or visiting your local clinic. 

International students and health services 

EU students will be covered by and should have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which will grant access to the NHS, however, you will only be eligible if you are partaking in a course which lasts longer than six months. 

International students may be eligible for a healthcare program or insurance from their home country. They may also need to check if a health surcharge will be needed when applying for visas into the UK for more than 6 months. 

These rules may change once the UK fully leaves the EU. 

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