Healthcare for International Students

International students can mostly access the USW Health Service or Other Healthcare Choices in the same way as UK students, but there are some special considerations:

National Health Service Registration

If you have paid the immigration health surcharge for your current period of immigration permission then you will qualify for free NHS hospital treatment on the same basis as anyone who is ordinarily resident in the UK. You must be pursuing a full-time course which is at least six months long to qualify. This is stated on the Welsh Government’s wales.com website.

Registering with a local GP surgery will allow you free NHS treatment.

Please register with USW Health Service online. When you have completed the registration form, make an appointment with us to discuss your medical history. It is important that you tell us about any illness or investigations you have had in the past. If you are receiving any treatment or are disabled as a result of a medical condition please bring information in English from your doctor at home.

If you move to a different area, you will need to re-register with a doctor.


Minor Illness

For minor problems like sore throats, coughs, colds and flu like illnesses you do not need to see a doctor. It is advisable to :


  • Take regular paracetamol
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Suck menthol lozenges
  • Make sure you get plenty of rest

Alternatively visit your local pharmacy for advice. You will be expected to buy your own medicines in this case.


To See a Doctor

You will need to register with a local GP then you will need to book an appointment at your doctor's surgery. You will not have to pay if your course is for longer than 6 months.

  • Please attend at the time you are given.
  • Doctors do not always give prescriptions and may recommend medicine that you can buy.
  • Antibiotics are only prescribed for serious infections and not generally for illnesses such as sore throats and flu like illness.
  • Doctors in the UK do not routinely do blood tests unless there are symptoms to indicate that they are required.


If you need to be referred to hospital you will have to wait for an appointment to be sent to you in the post. This can take some months or longer in conditions which are not considered urgent.