If you are moving to the UK as an international student, you are recommended to register with a doctor (or GP) as soon as possible. This is so that you will have access to medical care via the National Health Service (NHS), should you need it while you are living and studying in the UK.
We know that moving to a new country is a busy and sometimes stressful time, and there are many changes to cope with. To help, we have put together some easy-to-follow steps to take the confusion out of the process for registering with the UK health system.
Three steps to registering with a UK doctor
1. Find your local health centre.
It is best to register with a health centre which is convenient for you, and local to where you live. The NHS website has a database of all health centres in the UK and their contact information. Don’t forget that many university campuses have their own health centres for students, so it might be worth checking with your university or institution first.
2. Give them a phone call.
Before you go down there in person, call the surgery and check that they are accepting new patients. If they are, ask them what the process is for registering. Most medical centres will ask you to go in to the surgery in person to fill out some forms and present any necessary documentation.
3. Go in to the medical centre to register.
You will most likely be required to go in to the health centre in person to fill out registration forms. Make sure you take three key things with you to be able to register:
- Your passport
- Evidence you are a student (a student card or university acceptance letter etc.)
- Proof of your UK address (a utilities bill etc.)
Once you have registered, you will be on the GP’s list and able to make appointments and see the doctor should you need to. Take a note of the medical centre opening hours, and their contact details so that you make appointments.
If you are looking for additional advice or information, you can visit any of the below websites.
If you are studying in England, you can also use the NHS 111 service rather than seeing your GP. 111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It's fast, easy and free. You can call 111 and speak to a trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals; 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.