The UK has one of the best public healthcare systems in the world which is called the National Health Service (NHS). As part of the student visa application you will need to pay a Health Surcharge. Once the payment is made and your visa is granted you will then have access to the NHS.

The key health services that you will have free access to in the UK are General Practitioners (GP) surgery (Doctors surgery), Healthcare Center and hospitals. You will normally need to pay for dental, optical or prescriptions from a doctor.

The GP surgery will normally be the first place you contact for medical treatment. When students arrive in the UK you will register with your local GP. To make an appointment you will normally need to call your GP surgery and explain to them your medical problem. They will either provide you with consultation with a doctor on the phone or make an appointment for you to see the doctor at the surgery. After a consultation if you need medicine the doctor will provide you with a prescription which you will take to a Pharmacy to collect the medicine.

There are also a number of NHS walk-in health care clinics that you can access . These are often open longer hours and no appointment is required. They are usually attended by nurses and doctors and you will be treated in the same way as your local GP practice.

If your case is more serious the doctor may refer you to hospital. If your GP refers you to hospital it will usually be through an appointment with a specialist.

If you are seriously ill or need urgent medical treatment then you would normally call 999 and explain your medical problem. If required you will be visited by an ambulance and will first be treated by paramedics. If necessary you may be taken to an accident and emergency department at your local hospital for treatment. You can also visit the accident and emergency department yourself if seriously ill. The accident and emergency departments are open 24 hours a day.

The NHS also have a free helpline (call 111) for medical help and advice.
The NHS also has very detailed guidance and support for coronavirus on their website:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) - NHS
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