Registration with a Cambridge Doctor
General medical care is provided under the NHS by general practitioners (G.P.) in the city, though you may be requested to go to an Emergency Primary Care Centre if you require a doctor out of hours. Since you will be resident in Cambridge for the greater part of the year it is essential you register with a local National Health Service Doctor. You are required to register with a Doctor within ten days of your arrival in Cambridge, and to inform the Graduate Office of the name of your doctor. There is a list of local doctors in the Graduate Office. When registering, you should note the surgery hours and arrangements of your general practitioner.
If you have any history of previous illness you should ensure that your new doctor has the relevant particulars (for UK residents this will be achieved by the automatic transfer of your medical records from your former doctor). The College would find it helpful to know (in confidence) in advance of any student who is asthmatic, diabetic, dyslexic or has any other chronic illness or debilitating injury.
Further information is available from the University of Cambridge: http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/students/gateway/welfare/health.html
Tier 4 students
Those applying for a Tier 4 student visa from 6 April 2015 and coming to the UK for 6 months or longer will have been required to pay an immigration health surcharge as part of their visa application fee.
Students will be required to pay £150 per year of leave granted on their visa. If the leave includes part of a year that is 6 months or less, the amount payable for that year will be £75. If the leave includes part of a year that is more than 6 months, the full annual amount of £150 will be payable. Tier 4 dependants will also be required to pay the surcharge. The immigration healthcharge is in addition to the standard visa application fee.
For students applying for entry clearance from overseas, the surcharge will apply to visa applications for courses of 6 months or longer. For students making an application for further leave to remain in the UK, the surcharge will apply for courses of any length.
The immigration health surcharge will entitle Tier 4 students to access NHS care in the UK free of charge in the same way as a permanent UK resident. This includes at the Doctor’s surgery, a Healthcare Centre or in a hospital. You may need to pay for dental and optical treatment as well as medicine prescribed by the doctor and collected from a pharmacy. There are also exceptions for particularly expensive discretionary treatments.
Tier 4 dependants
Tier 4 dependants will also have to pay the surcharge as part of their application, at the same rate as the Tier 4 student.
Non-UK European Economic Area (EEA) nationals and their family should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before coming to the UK to access NHS services for free in the UK. If you are not entitled to an EHIC you are advised to obtain private medical insurance.
Private Medical Insurance
You cannot take out private healthcare insurance as an alternative to paying the health immigration surcharge as this is a mandatory fee included as part of your visa application. It is a personal decision whether you also have private healthcare insurance. You may wish to consider this to cover the following potential health-related costs:
- Loss of fees if you are unable to complete your course
- Costs incurred returning to your home country for treatment
- Private medical treatment
If you already have medical insurance in your home country, you may wish to check whether this can be extended to cover your stay in the UK.