Healthcare for short-term international students

Non-EEA (European Economic Area) students coming to the UK for less than 6 months should take out private health insurance before coming to the UK. 

If you are coming to the UK for less than 6 months, in most cases you would not be classed as a UK Resident and would therefore not normally be entitled to free NHS treatment in hospitals. You can attend A&E (accident & emergency) departments for emergency care and also Sexual Health clinics for free treatment. However, if you are transferred to a hospital outpatient clinic, or to a ward as an inpatient, you may be charged a fee, and this can be expensive.

The situation with Primary Care treatment for this group is more complicated.  GP practices have discretionary powers as to whether they accept short-term visitors for NHS treatment. Most practices will not accept this group for NHS treatment but may accept them for private treatment.  Some GP practices simply direct these patients to private clinics or hospitals. 

Bedford Square Medical Centre will accept short-term LSHTM students for private treatment. You should contact them directly to discuss your situation if you want to make an appointment. They are situated close to LSHTM at  60 Bloomsbury Street, WC1B 3QU, Tel: 020 7580 7128.

Students from EEA (European Economic Area) countries or other countries with reciprocal agreements with the UK are covered for some NHS treatment in the UK. Before you travel, you should check with your health authorities in your home country about what treatment will be covered. You may need to take out some additional insurance.

If you are from an EEA country or Switzerland, then you should apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before travelling to the UK. For further information about the EHIC, go to the European Commission's website:

To find out what other countries have a reciprocal health agreement with the UK, go to the following link:

Emergency Treatment

If you need emergency treatment, then you should contact A&E or a walk-in clinic. You can find the nearest ones to you by visiting:

Further information for all students

UKCISA provides useful information for international students, such as the one outlining healthcare eligibility: