International students: Health

We hope that you stay fit, happy and healthy during your time at Trinity Laban. However it's best to arrive prepared so that you can be treated as quickly and efficiently as possible if you do become ill and need treatment.

Doctor's report

If you are receiving medical treatment or have had a serious illness in the past please bring with you a doctor's report, in English. The report should give details about the illness, any medicines that you are taking and any future treatment that may be required. Show this report to your doctor in the UK should you become ill.

Chest x-rays

If you are entering the UK from Africa, India or countries that have tuberculosis, we advise you to bring an up to date chest x-ray certificate and medical report. If you don't, UK immigration may require you to have a medical examination before you are allowed to enter the country.


The UK Department of Health in the UK recommends that all students are immunised against the following:

  • tetanus
  • polio
  • diptheria
  • measles
  • rubella

Make sure that you have been vaccinated for these illnesses before you arrive in the UK. Bring with you confirmation of any vaccinations that you have had, such as an International Vaccination Book or other medical documents.

We also strongly advise that you have vaccinations for measles, mumps and meningitis before you leave home. If you don't, you may have to pay for them when you arrive in the UK and register with a doctor.

Check with your local Embassy whether there are any vaccinations that your home country requires you to have before you enter the UK.

If you can't get vaccinated in your country please tell your doctor as soon as you register in the UK.

Healtcare treatment in the UK

The UK has a healthcare system called the National Health Service, also known as the NHS. The NHS provides free healthcare for all UK citizens and is funded by taxpayers.

As an international student you may be eligible for free treatment on the NHS. Your entitlement depends on the length and purpose of your residence in the UK, not your nationality.

Visit the government's NHS website at:

Government's NHS website

Healthcare treatment is free if:

  •  Your course lasts for six months or more. This is regardless of your nationality or immigration status
  • Your country has reciprocal healthcare agreements with Britain 

All member states of the European Union hold reciprocal healthcare agreements with the UK.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

EU/EEA/Swiss students on a course lasting less than six months should get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before arriving in the UK. This provides treatment for all illnesses. Without an EHIC you are not covered for treatment for illnesses you had before you arrived in the UK.

If you are not eligible for free treatment under the Department of Health regulations described above:

  • Emergency treatment given at a GP surgery or in an Accident and Emergency department or a Walk in Centre is free
  • If you are formally admitted as an in-patient or registered at an outpatient clinic, after emergency treatment, you will be charged for treatment

To find out more about whether you are eligible for free healthcare treatment and whether you are from a country which has healthcare agreements with the UK visit the UK Department of Health website.

Private healthcare insurance

You must take out private healthcare insurance if you do not qualify for free treatment under the Department of Health regulations:

  • Do this before you arrive in the UK. Speak to your educational institution, health authority or local Embassy in your own country for advice on private health care insurance providers.
  • Check what is included in the healthcare insurance plan. Many insurers, for example, will not cover the costs of pregnancy or pre-existing conditions.
  • As a guide, a one week stay in a hospital in London will cost more than £2,000 plus charges for treatment.

Register with a doctor in the UK

A medical doctor in the UK is also known as a General Practitioner (GP).

  • Trinity Laban does not have its own medical centre
  • You must register with a GP in the area where you live when you arrive in the UK
  • If you don't register with a GP you will not be able to get an appointment
  • You will be given more information on how to register when you arrive

If you already know the area that you will be living in in the UK, visit the NHS Direct website, to find the nearest GP in your local area.

What you might have to pay for

Most treatment under the NHS is free but you may have to pay for some types of treatment or medication:

  • dental care treatment such as fillings
  • eye tests and the cost of glasses or lenses
  • Many medicines are only available on prescription from your GP in the UK. Prescriptions for medication currently cost around £7 per item. Contraceptive supplies are free under the NHS
  • Some people qualify for free dental and eye care and prescriptions. Ask your GP's surgery for further information

Useful links

For more information on healthcare treatment in the UK, visit these websites:

UK Department of Health

NHS Direct

Advice Guide. This website provides good general information about healthcare treatment in the UK for people from overseas


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