Healthcare | University of Oxford
Doctor with patient
A general practice appointment.
(Credit: Oxford University Images / Nasir Hamid)


Medical Insurance

Access to healthcare during your time at Oxford will depend on your visa status and the length of time you plan to be in the UK.

If you are from the EEA:

Medical care will be free at the point of use, but you should present a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) when attending a GP practice or hospital. Dental care will need to be paid for when you attend the dental surgery. You will need to pay for prescriptions.

If you are from outside the EEA:

  • Short-term visitors (less than 6 months) - It is essential that you take out medical insurance for the duration of your visit prior to arrival in the UK.
  • Long-term visitors (over 6 months) – Long-term visitors to Oxford may now need to pay an NHS surcharge at the time they apply for their UK visa, depending on your country of origin and the type of visa. The Staff Immigration team will be able to advise further. Payment of the NHS surcharge gives you access to the NHS on the same basis as UK residents. (This means medical care is free, but you will still need to contribute towards the cost of prescriptions, dental care and glasses.)

How to access healthcare

Healthcare is provided by family doctors and nurses (known as General Practitioners) in the first instance. You can also visit an NHS walk-in centre or call the NHS 111  telephone service for advice. If you need non-urgent hospital treatment, your family doctor (GP) will refer you.

  • Call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. An ambulance will be sent to take the person to a hospital Accident & Emergency department.
  • Visit a walk-in centre, minor injuries unit or urgent care centre if you have a minor illness or injury (cuts, sprains or rashes) and it can't wait until your GP surgery is open.
  • Ask your local pharmacist for advice – your pharmacist can give you advice about many common minor illnesses, such as minor infections, headaches, sore throats, and stomach upsets.
  • Make an appointment with your GP if you are feeling unwell and it is not an emergency.

Information about how to find a family doctor, dentist and optician can be found here:

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