Staying physically and mentally well is important, to ensure you can study and work effectively while you are at UEA.
International Healthcare Surcharge (IHS)When applying for a new student visa for longer than 6 months you will need to pay a healthcare charge, called the ‘Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS)’, as part of your visa application.
Health InsuranceBefore you travel to the UK you should make sure that you will be covered if you become unwell.
TuberculosisPlease check with your doctor whether you have had a BCG before arriving at UEA and, if possible, bring evidence of this. It is particularly important if you come from a high TB risk country.
Registering with a GP
There is an NHS GP surgery on site, near the entrance to Bluebell Road. You must register here if you are living in UEA accommodation. If you are living off-campus, you can still register at the University Medical Service or with another GP near where you live. To register as a patient, visit the UEA Medical Services (UMS) website. It is a University regulation that you register with a general practitioner (GP) in the Norwich area.
Registration is free. It is important to register as soon as possible once you arrive at UEA - do not wait until you feel unwell. You can only be registered with one GP / health centre at any time and you should receive a card / letter with your NHS number.
For more information, please visit the University Medical Services website.
Further information on healthcare in the UK can also be found on the UKCISA Health and Healthcare webpage.
If you are from overseas, you may need to be screened for TB. This is free. You can check if you have come from a country that requires a TB screening on UMS’s website. If your country appears on this list and you are attending UEA for a period of more than 1 month, you must attend the University Medical Centre for a Tuberculosis (TB) screening. This TB screening is also applicable to any student who was born in a high risk country, as well as anyone who has been travelling or lived abroad in any of the high risk countries (please check the list on the UMS link above) for a period of 6 months or more, within the last year.
If you have a UK Foreign Commonwealth Office (UK FCO) Visa Tuberculosis Screening Certificate, you must bring this with you to medical registration.
Failure to comply with the TB screening is a breach of university regulations and may lead to suspension from the university and exclusion from campus.
Accident and Emergency (A&E)
A&E is for immediate medical help – the nearest A&E to the University is at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Colney Lane. You can take yourself to the hospital or you can call 999 for an ambulance, which will take you if required.
A&E should only be accessed in critical or life-threatening situations – it is not an alternative for ‘out-of-hours’ care. If you need medical attention out-of-hours but it’s not an emergency, or you’re unsure on what to do, call NHS 111 who will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
University Medical Service (UMS)
Doctors and Nurses at the UMS specialise in student health, early diagnosis and intervention, and health promotion. Both male and female doctors are available and you can request a specific gender of your GP. The UMS is confidential and they will only discuss your health with others if you request them to do so: for example, to the University if you are too ill to study.
The UMS can help with:
- When you are unwell
- Your mental health
- Tuberculosis (TB) screenings
- Sexual health
- Prescribing medication
- Travel Health
- Medical certificates and reports
- Referring you to hospital
TB screenings are free at UMS and are required for all students and accompanying family, unless from Western Europe, UEA, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand. Screening is normally a questionnaire or possibly a skin test or x-ray. An appointment will be made when you register at UMS.
UMS Contact Details
01603 251600 – for appointments/reception
01603 251601 - for general enquiries/secretaries
You can find more information on their services on the UMS website.
Levels of Treatment
There are various levels of treatment within the NHS:
- Read advice and articles on symptoms and illnesses on the Patient website
- Visit your local pharmacy and pharmacist – there’s a Boots on campus at UMS, or Hurn Chemist on Unthank Road
- Book an appointment with your GP or Nurse at the UMS – these range from 10 minute appointments with a doctor or a nurse, urgent doctor appointments (walk in and wait for urgent medical problems), nurse clinics, and a Treatment Room nurse
- Call 111 – the out of hours and non-emergency phone service
- Visit the NHS Walk-in centre - Rouen House, Rouen Rd, Norwich, NR1 1RB
- In an emergency, go to A&E or call 999
Coverage on the NHS and Medical Insurance
Coverage on the NHS
Visa for 6 months and longer
International students applying for a Student visa for courses longer than 6 months are required to pay a healthcare charge called the ‘Immigration Health Surcharge’ (IHS) as part of their visa application. Paying this charge will allow you to access the NHS. You can find further information on the IHS on the Gov UK webpage.
Visas for Less Than 6 Months or Not Covered Under the IHS
If you are coming to study in the UK for less than 6 months or you have not been covered under the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), you cannot access the NHS free of charge. This includes anyone on a Visitor visa.
Some people can access free hospital care. You can check whether you can or not on UKCISA’s page under ‘People who don’t pay hospital fees’.
Accessing medical treatment (other than if you are entitled to free hospital care) is not allowed as a visitor and you will need to get private medical insurance for your time in the UK. You must take out private healthcare insurance that covers your stay in the UK before travelling to the UK.
INTO Pre-Sessional to UEA Students
If you are studying at INTO for less than 6 months and are continuing your studies at UEA, you will need to extend your private healthcare insurance to cover you from when it expires to after you are likely to receive your new visa. This is because you will not be entitled to free access to the NHS with your IHS payment until your visa is formally granted. It takes on average 3-4 months for applications submitted in September and October. Access to the NHS without insurance or IHS can be very expensive.
Students from the EU/EEA
Since Brexit, healthcare arrangements in the UK have changed for EU/EEA students. It is important that you read through the NHS’s page on the changes here. Below, we have briefly outlined some of the options for healthcare:
- EU Settlement Scheme – this gives you the same access to the NHS.
- European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – you may still be able to use your EHIC in the UK, but you will need to check this on the NHS website.
- Getting comprehensive sickness insurance – you can find out more about this on UKCISA’s webpage.
- Student Route Visa – you pay a fee for the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge as part of the visa application process, which gives you the same access to the NHS as UK citizens.
Other services – Dentist, Opticians, Mental Health, Sexual Health
It is recommended that you also register with a dentist that is part of the NHS. You still need to pay for treatment on your teeth, but it will be less expensive if you use an NHS dentist.
There is a Dental Practice on the first floor of the medical centre, where you can register with one of their dentists or you register with other dental practices in the city. You don’t need to see your GP first if you need to see the dentist, as long as you have an NHS number. Please note that registration for the dentist is completely separate to the UEA Medical Centre.
Tel: 01603 592173
You will be able to find many opticians in the city. All eye tests, glasses and contact lenses will have to be paid for. Costs will vary depending on where the eye test is carried out, what lenses are required and the frames selected.
The Wellbeing team can help students by equipping them with the skills and knowledge to deal with various aspects of student life, as well as providing support if a student is experiencing difficulties with their wellbeing or mental health.
Sexual health and family planning is available from the UMS as well as other services in the city. UMS offer free confidential advice and information about:
- Contraception (birth control) – all methods of contraception are free and available at the UMS
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) – including Chlamydia and HIV
- Sexual Health Screening
- Pregnancy testing and questions about pregnancy
The Integrated Contraception and Sexual Health clinic (iCash) on Oak Street, Norwich, is an alternative.
The legal age for consensual sex in the UK is 16.
Contraception including condoms, birth control pills, injections, diaphragms and implants are free in the UK. These are available from the UMS. You can get free condoms from the UMS, the UEA SU and other locations.
If you had unprotected sex, or you think your contraception method might have failed, you can get emergency contraception by going to the UMS as soon as possible, by calling 111, or by visiting a pharmacy.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
If you think you may have an STI, you can get a free confidential check-up at the UMS or the iCash clinic in the city. You can also find free testing kits in the UMS and in Boots on campus.
You can find further information on the Terrence Higgins Trust website.
UEA has zero tolerance towards:
- Sexual assault, harassment and misconduct
- Hate incidents – based on an individual’s real or perceived race, religion, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability
- Relationship/domestic abuse and violence
- Bullying and harassment
- Physical assault
Student Services will provide advice, guidance and support to any student who believes they have been a victim of any kind of misconduct – to request support, please fill in the online referral form or use the UEA Report and Support website.
Any incident of harassment will be regarded very seriously and the University will thoroughly investigate all reports of inappropriate behaviour and conduct.
You can read UEA’s ‘Harassment and sexual or physical misconduct policy’ online.