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Doctors in England, Wales and Scotland normally accept all students onto their lists of NHS patients. Hospitals offer some level of care to all visitors and residents of the UK. However, not all hospital treatment is automatically covered so the information below will help you decide whether to take individual medical insurance.
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If you made your visa application after 6th April 2015 and you paid Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of your visa application, you are eligible to hospitals with no charge. This is the same if you applied before 6th April 2015 and you didn't need to pay the IHS because it didn't exist.
If you made your visa application after 6th April 2015 but you did not need to pay IHS, for example, if you applied from outside the UK and your course was for less than 6 months, you are not covered for all hospital cover and you should arrange individual medical insurance.
HHealth and healthcare (UKCISA)
Students on a short term student visa, are only covered to use the NHS if they paid the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of the visa application. This is normally the case if you are on an 11 month visa.
Those students on a short term student visa for 6 months or less do not normally pay the IHS and are therefore not eligible to use all parts of hospital care. We recommend that you take out individual medical insurance.
If you decide to purchase medical insurance, UKCISA has information about how to do this.
In the UK it is usual to pay for insurance to protect against any loss or injury to yourself or your belongings. Policies usually cover you for part or all of the replacement value of what you have lost. You can also use an insurance company in your own country or check Endsleigh, a company which insures students. If you have valuable items e.g. jewellery, electrical items, make sure the policy covers their value. If you are living in an Oxford Brookes hall of residence we will insure some of the contents of your room.
You can insure your luggage for the time you are travelling by buying travel insurance. Keep copies of your insurance policies, passport and visa.
Brookes has a medical centre on campus which has doctors and nurses who offer a full, confidential medical service. You should register with the medical centre when you first arrive, rather than waiting for when you are sick. They will send you a National Health Service (NHS) card which has your NHS number. This means you are registered and your file will be found if you need to go to hospital. These doctors are called General Practitioners (GPs).
To make an appointment with the doctor, please speak to the medical centre reception by phone or in person. To see a nurse, you can either go to a drop in run Monday to Friday from 08.30 - 12noon or make an appointment by contacting reception.
If you need medical advice on the same day but do not need to access hospital facilities, you can go to the nurse drop in at the Brookes medical centre. This runs from 08.30 - 12.00 Monday to Friday. Alternatively, if you call the medical centre, they will offer you a doctors appointment or a phone call from a doctor.
For medical emergencies, you can go to the Accident and Emergency department (A&E). The closest hospital with an A&E department is the John Radcliffe. If you are too unwell to travel before seeking medical help, please call 999 and ask for an ambulance.
If you are unsure who you should see, please call 111. This is a 24 hour nurse led telephone service and they will refer you to the most appropriate service.