'HEALTHCARE' spelt out in scrabble letters

Using the healthcare service in the UK

In the UK, The National Health Service (NHS) is the state healthcare system, and it offers various health care services ranging from appointments with the doctor, hospital treatment and dental care. However, international students must be aware that to be eligible for NHS treatments, they have to pay a healthcare surcharge (called the ‘immigration health surcharge’ or IHS) along with their visa. Here are some recommended points that new arrival foreign students should know to access the NHS treatment.

1.Register with local GPs

The first step that international students need to keep in mind is registering with local GPs as soon as possible when they get to the university. In more detail, University of Lincoln has their own Health Centre, and it is known as our local GP. As this step, we just need to get to the Health Centre, fill out the registration form and wait for the confirmation to access to primary NHS service.

Lincoln Health Service sign

2.Book an appointment

When you already paid for IHS to use NHS treatment, it is completely free to visit a doctor. You can make a call to your GP to book an appointment or go straight to your GP and do it. If you have any preferred doctor, you may need to follow their schedule to have an appropriate appointment with them.

The doors to the Lincoln Health Service

3.Take prescription and payment

After examining your health condition, the doctor will give you a prescription to take medicine. As usual, you do not need to pay for a health examination, but you have to pay for a prescription which normally costs around £9 for each. The doctor will give you their confirmation of prescription and you just need come to local pharmacy (normally is Boots) to get your medicine. However, there are also some kinds of free medicines (such as contraception, etc.) but you might visit a doctor for a consultation before using it. For a patient on long-term medication, when the pills run out, you just need to call to a GP or require electronic prescription to order your medicine.

For more information, watch our Youtube video on the university’s health centre:

By Jiafu Chen, a BEng Mechanical Engineering student from China.

For more information regarding the University Health Centre and the most up to date information, please see their website.