Healthcare in the UK

Healthcare in the UK is mainly provided through the National Health Service (NHS). Please refer to the section relevant to you below for further information.

NHS Coronavirus vaccinations for students

Students who are living and studying in the UK will be able to access the NHS Coronavirus vaccination programme. 

To be invited by the NHS for Coronavirus vaccination please:

You can see information here on the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme in Scotland and more Covid-19 vaccination information on the Student Information Scotland webpages.

 

NHS Health Care

You can find information on who is eligible to access healthcare from the NHS and what sort of health services you can access on the Scottish NHS Inform webpages and the Guide to NHS Health Care in Scotland .

UK study visa holders

See NHS treatment for overseas students in the UK for the NHS services and treatment you can access.

"Student" visa holders

If you hold a Student visa of more than 6 months in length, you are required to pay towards the costs of accessing NHS healthcare for the full duration of their visa.

This is called the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS) - it is paid as part of the Student visa application process.

The IHS fee is calculated based on the total length of your visa.  You can find out more about the IHS, including how much you will need to pay, and on the Scottish NHS Inform and gov.uk webpages.

"Student" visa holders (where visa is less than 6 months long)

You do not have to pay the IHS as part of applying for your visa, however it is recommended that you apply for health insurance that will cover the costs of any NHS or private healthcare you access while you are living in the UK.  See the UKCISA webpages for further information on getting private health insurance. 

"Standard Visitor" visa holders (for study of a period of 6 months or less)

You do not have to pay the IHS as part of applying for your visa, however it is recommended that you apply for health insurance that will cover the costs of any NHS or private healthcare you access while you are living in the UK.  See the UKCISA webpages for further information on getting private health insurance.

 

EU Settlement Scheme status holders

Please see the UKVI webpages for details of your rights when living in the UK under valid pre-settled or settled status, including access to NHS health care in the UK and the NHS Inform webpages for details of NHS services and treatment you can access.

 

EU / EEA and Swiss nationals without EU Settlement Scheme status

Currently, EEA nationals have a right to free NHS treatment under European Law. However, you will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to be able to continue living in the UK and access NHS health care free of charge.

Please see the NHS Inform webpages for people coming to Scotland to study to see what NHS services and treatment you can access.

EHIC holders

If you currently hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) you will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and receive either pre-settled or settled status to continue accessing NHS health care for free.  

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI)

If you currently hold Comprehensive Health Insurance and you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and receive either pre-settled or settled status to continue accessing NHS health care for free.  See the UKCISA website for more details on CSI.

 

Registering with a GP (doctor)

In Scotland, doctors are also referred to as "General Practitioners" or as a "GP". They work in medical surgeries, medical practices or health centres and a GP will be the first point of contact for your health needs. 

If your GP advises you that you need to see another health professional (for example a specialist in a hospital or someone in a specialist service) they will organise the referral for you.

International Students should initially contact the GP in relation to health conditions, including those they already have a diagnosis for (or where they are seeking a diagnosis), including mental health issues, in the first instance.   

How to register with a GP

You should register with a General Practitioner (GP) as soon as possible after you arrive in Scotland and have completed Registration and Enrolment as a University of Glasgow student.  Please do not wait until you are unwell as this may delay treatment.

You will need to provide proof of your student status, your passport/national identity card and your BRP (if relevant) in order to register.

If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss student, you should also show your evidence of:

  • pre-settled or settled status or
  • EHIC or Comprehensive Health Insurance (if registering before 30 June 2021)

To find your local GP, select 'GP practices' from the dropdown menu in the Services Directory section of the Scottish NHS Inform webpage and enter the postcode of your term-time UK address. You may then wish to contact the GP practice by phone to ask if their registration processes are currently online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prescriptions

If your doctor issues you with a prescription for an item of medicine, you will need to collect the item from a chemist. There is no charge for prescriptions in Scotland.

Registering with a dentist

When making your first appointment with a dentist, you should first of all check that he/she will accept you as a patient under the National Health Service. Otherwise, you may be treated as a private patient, which will cost more than the usual NHS charge.

You must be registered with a doctor before being entitled to be treated by a dentist under the NHS.  Take the contact details (address and telephone number) of your GP surgery when you go to register with the dentist.

NHS dentistry is not free of charge, however is cheaper than accessing a private dentistry.  See the NHS Inform webpages for details of prices for NHS dental treatment.

See the NHS Inform webpages to find your local NHS dentist and their information on receiving NHS dental treatment in Scotland.

Opticians

Please see the NHS Inform webpages for information on the different services you can access for eye and sight health care and here to find your nearest opticians in Glasgow.

NHS 24 and Out of Hours Care

NHS 24 phone service - 111

NHS 24 is a telephone advice and triage service that covers the out of hours period when your GP surgery is closed and you are too ill to wait until it re-opens.  You can access this service 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.  You will speak to a suitable health professional who will talk to you about your symptoms and tell you what you need to do; such as treating yourself at home or going to see a doctor.

You can contact the NHS 24 phone service by dialing 111.  This is a free service.

NHS 24 online resources

NHS 24 provides a number of online tools and resources to help you manage your health and find health services in your area through the NHS inform website.

NHS Pharmacy First - minor illnesses

NHS Pharmacy First Scotland is an NHS service provided by your local community pharmacy.  You can access this is you are registered with a GP in Scotland. 

If you have a minor illness, a pharmacy is the first place you should go for advice.  You do not usually need an appointment and you can go to any pharmacy.

Accident & Emergency / Out of Hours Care:

You can check your nearest Accident and Emergency location on the NHS Inform webpages.