What is the NHS?
The National Health Service (NHS) is UK’s public healthcare system. It was launched in 1948 with the idea that everyone should have access to good quality healthcare, regardless of money. Therefore, all NHS services are FREE at point of delivery and primarily funded by general taxation. Please note that there are charges to prescriptions (flat rate of £8.60 per item), optical services and dental services.
Accessing the NHS services
The most important thing you can do for your healthcare, is registering with a General Practitioner (GP). Basically, any service you may require, has to go through your GP. You can either register with a local GP based on where you live, or register with your university’s GP. As you will probably move throughout your degree, it may be best to register with your university’s GP so that you don’t have to change GPs when you change address. However, if you do wish to register near International Hall, or if your university is nearby (e.g. UCL, SOAS, Birbeck) you can do so at Ridgmount Practice.
The NHS services are available to UK, EU/EEA and international students who are staying in the UK for over 6 months. UK and EU/EEA students can use the services freely. International students who are staying here over 6 months will have paid an immigration health surcharge upon getting a visa, allowing them to access the NHS services. However, international students staying in the UK for less than 6 months, will not have paid the health surcharge. If you fall in this category, you can still visit the GP as a temporary patient to get primary care, as long as you obtain private medical insurance. It is important to note that even with this, your GP will not be able to refer you to specialist services.
List of UoL Institutions and links to their health services:
- UCL - http://www.ucl.ac.uk/iss/before-you-arrive/health
- SOAS - https://www.soas.ac.uk/studentadviceandwellbeing/students/health/
- King's College London - http://www.kclnhshealthcentre.com/index.aspx
- LSE- http://www.lse.ac.uk/intranet/students/supportServices/healthSafetyWellbeing/healthIssues.aspx
- Royal academy of music - http://www.ram.ac.uk/study/studying-at-the-academy/support-and-wellbeing/health
- Queen Mary - https://www.studenthealth.qmul.ac.uk/
- City University - https://www.city.ac.uk/current-students/health-wellbeing-sport/student-health-service/register-with-a-doctor
- Goldsmiths - http://www.gold.ac.uk/students/wellbeing/
If your university was not listed above, you can also google your university name, followed by health services/healthcare. Most university websites will have a section on healthcare for their students.
You can pick up prescription medicine as well as a range of over the counter medicines from any pharmacy. The biggest pharmacy branch is called Boots, which you will see around a lot. The closest pharmacy to IH is the Boots at 40-42 Brunswick Centre, London, WC1N 1AE. Please note that a lot of symptoms can be treated with just a visit to the pharmacy, and so you don't always need to go see your GP for minor issues.
It is important to note that the closest hospital and Accident and Emergency (A&E) services to IH is at University College Hospital (UCH), located at 235 Euston Road, Bloomsbury, London NW1 2BU.
The emergency number in the UK is 999.
For non-emergency calls related to healthcare, use the NHS number, 111.