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Healthcare in the UK

Your health: healthcare in the UK

EEA Immigration Regulations (2016)

It is now compulsory for all students from the EEA and Switzerland to acquire a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before they travel to the UK or to find a suitable insurance policy (online) and purchase comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI) to cover the duration of your studies. You must find suitable cover now if you do not currently have it.

Most students are able to obtain an EHIC from their country of residence prior to coming to the UK. This card allows EEA nationals to get the same medical treatment, which is free to residents of the country they are visiting, without being charged. The UK government has produced a leaflet about EHIC and access to medical treatment while in the UK:

In addition, if you are exercising your right to reside in the UK as a student or self-sufficient person, you are required to have comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI) throughout your period of residence in the UK. Having an EHIC satisfies this requirement if you are not intending to be in the UK permanently.


Unless you have paid an IHS surcharge with your visa application, you will need CSI or EHIC for the full duration of your studies. If you already have an EHIC card you will not need CSI unless you intend to apply for permanent residence. If you intend to apply for permanent residence, you must be able to evidence that you have been covered for 5 continuous years living inside the UK with both CSI and EHIC for your application to be considered. You can search online for comprehensive private medical health insurance cover (CSI) that is affordable for you through a reputable insurance company.

Please view UKCISA pages for more information.

Am I entitled to NHS (National Health Service) care?

Most students undertaking a course of study at Kingston University will be entitled to medical care from the National Health Service (NHS). You are not entitled to NHS care if:

  • you are a non-European student studying in the UK for less than six months; or 
  • you come from a country that does not have reciprocal health arrangements with the UK.

If you are unsure of your entitlement, please ask the British Embassy, High Commission or British Council for advice before you arrive in the UK.

What does NHS (National Health Service) care cover?

If you are entitled to NHS care, there is no charge to see a doctor or to have medical treatment. There is a flat charge of £8.80 per item for prescription medication (there is no charge for students in full-time education aged 18 and under).

You should register with a General Medical Practitioner (GP) as soon as possible after arriving in the UK. Most medical care is provided by GPs who may refer you to a hospital for a specialist opinion.

Students living in the Kingston area can register with the University's on-site Health Centre. The University also provides counselling and complementary therapies.

Do I need any vaccinations or screenings before arriving in the UK?

We advise having a Meningococcal Group C vaccine before you arrive in the UK. If you have not had the vaccination before you arrive, your GP will be able to arrange it for you.

Nationals from some countries now have to undergo Tuberculosis (TB) screening before applying for entry clearance/a student visa for the UK.

Students from high risk countries need screening for TB on arrival in the UK. Please register with a GP as soon as possible after arrival in the UK for this to be arranged.

Contact us

International enquiries
Tel: +44(0)20 8417 3411