Can I See A Doctor/Nurse?
Anyone in England can access primary care (GP and Nurse consultations) free of charge irrespective of nationality, immigration status or length of stay in the UK (as long as it is >24 hours)
- If you are here for less than 3 months in total, we can see you for free (affiliation criteria still needs to be met) if your treatment is immediately necessary/urgent (i.e. something that cannot wait until you return home) or you can visit the walk-in centre in the city.
- If you are here for between 3-6 months, we can register you for primary care (GP services) but you may be required to pay for secondary care referrals/treatment/investigations.
- If you are here for more than 6 months, you are eligible to register fully for primary and secondary care with us as long as affiliation criteria is met.
In all cases, you will still need to pay for certain services (unless exempt) such as;
- Dental treatment
- Eye care
- Wig and fabric support
If you need to see a doctor or nurse at the UEA Medical Centre, please speak to our reception staff. Please advise them of the reason you need to see someone so they can best deal with your concern and put you in with the most appropriate clinician. You will be required to complete some NHS registration paperwork so we can make the necessary appointment(s).
On Medication? What Happens If I Need More Whilst In The UK?
Irrespective of your length of stay in the UK, we can issue medication for you either on the NHS or privately (how, depends on your duration of stay).
You should bring with you evidence of your current medications and dosage, plus if possible letter from your doctor/hospital.
We may not be able to issue you exactly the same drug(s) as you are on in your home country, but we will be able to issue an equivalent or alternative. Depending on what medication you are on, you may need to be referred to hospital as it may be a drug that only secondary care (hospitals) can issue.
Whatever your situation, as soon as you get to the UEA, register with us and book a routine GP appointment. Bring all your medication information/letters with you for the GP to review. Ideally, you should bring 2-3 months worth of medication where possible, in-case a referral to secondary care is needed and to ensure you have enough medication for the interim.
What If I Need To Go To Hospital? Do I Have To Pay?
Hospital treatment (secondary care) is free of charge for people who are ordinarily resident in the UK. This means that you must be living lawfully in the UK on a properly settled basis to be entitled to free healthcare. The measure of residence that the UK uses to determine whether someone is entitled to free NHS healthcare is known as ‘ordinary residence’. To be ordinarily resident in the UK, people from countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are subject to immigration control need to also have their immigration status of ‘indefinite leave to remain’.
Under the terms of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, if you are from within the EU, you will be covered for some treatment if you fall ill or have a medical emergency during your visit using your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You should make sure you bring your EHIC with you when visiting the UK. You should also make sure you have adequate travel and health insurance for your visit as an EHIC does not cover all healthcare costs. If you do not haven an EHIC, you can request a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) from the relevant authority where you live.
If you cannot provide or obtain a valid EHIC, PRC or S2, you may be charged for your treatment.
Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)
You will pay IHS if you are coming to the UK from a country outside of the EEA (European Economic Area) for stays of more than 6 months. People who have paid the surcharge (or who are exempt from having to pay it or have had the requirement waived) can use the NHS in a similar way to an ordinarily resident person while their visa remains valid.
Entitlements to NHS Services for Migrants
This animation explains the entitlements to NHS services and to vaccination for migrants in England and is aimed at healthcare professionals who support migrants in their practice.
0:00 Introduction to Entitlements for Migrants
1:43 Section 2- Karman’s Story (case study provided by Doctors of the World)
3:34 NHS Entitlements to Primary Care in England
5:29 NHS Entitlements to Secondary Care in England
7:08 Dental Treatment for Migrants in England
8:05 Assessing New Patients from Overseas
Having your own medical and travel insurance is essential when coming to the UK, especially if you are here for less than 6 months, and the level of cover you get should be appropriate to your needs.
We cannot comment or recommend insurance providers – you would need to investigate and source this in your home country. If you are coming to study at the UEA, there should be further information about this in your UEA joining instructions.