30th July 2018


Health and Medical Services


National Health Service (NHS)

All full-time students at Cambridge are covered by the National Health Service (NHS) for medical costs, except for eye care and dental care (see below). This means once you are registered with a GP surgery (a medical clinic), you do not have to pay to see a doctor. Medication is separately charged, and with NHS prescriptions generally cost 8.40 pounds per item. However, do check here if you are entitled for a free prescriptions, or thinking to save some money as you will be purchasing multiple prescriptions in a short while. Alternatively, you can buy medication from pharmacies (some medication may require prescriptions from your GP). Note that doctors at your GP may not be always available to see all patients– sometimes you may expect to be seen by qualified nurses instead, who will provide you with professional advice and help on your health matter.
So the important thing to remember upon arrival is to register with a GP surgery. You can search for your nearest GP or other NHS services by your postcode here.
Addenbrooke's Hospital

Hospital/ Emergency Service

Call 999 in an emergency, and ask either for Police, Fire or Ambulance.
(For a faster response if dialling for an ambulance from a mobile with sim card, it is better to use 112.)
The main hospital in Cambridge is Addenbrokes Hospital . It is located in the south of Cambridge, accessible with bus route citi1,2,4 and 7, plus a number of Park and Ride buses. Apart from a number of outpatient and inpatient departments, the hospital has an emergency service which is available 24-hours a day. If you are unsure about what health and medical service you need, you can telephone your GP surgery, or the NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 and a trained call handler will direct you to an experienced nurse who will be able to answer all your questions and advise you on what service is right for you.
A more comprehensive list of hospitals in the Cambridge area can be found here.

NHS Eyecare and Dental Care

Optical Care and Dental Care

Eye-care is different. If you wear contact lenses or glasses, you will need to have a British optical prescription before you can buy contact lenses or glasses. So either bring some from home, or set up an appointment to have your eyes checked when you arrive. One is entitled for free NHS sight tests or optical vouchers if you are aged under 16, or 19 and in qualifying full-time education, or fulfills other conditions.
Similarly, NHS dental treatment is free to students under the age of 19 years, or if you fulfill other conditions. NHS charges are payable by students aged 19 years and over. To claim exemption from charges on grounds of low income it is necessary to have a current Certificate of Exemption.
The University Dental Service was sold in December 2016 and is no longer affiliated with the University. The new owners and managers are, however, committed to providing continuity of treatment to NHS patients already registered under the care of the Practice.
Address: 3 Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1QA
Tel: 01223 367870
Opening hours: Monday – Friday 8.00am to 5.00pm




Pharmacies / Optometrists

  • Boots on Sidney Street/Petty Curry (near Market Square)
  • Superdrugs on Sidney Street
  • Specsavers in Lion’s Yard

Be prepared to pay if you want to have your eyes checked.


  • Meningitis
    The age group 18-25 is most vulnerable to this virus. In recent years, vaccination towards Meningitis has become mandatory to all students. Although it is not checked strictly, it is recommended to receive the vaccination either in your home country or once you arrive in UK. You can have the vaccination here in the UK if you prefer and at no cost. If you already had the vaccination previously before coming to UK, please bring a record with you.
    http:// www.meningitis.org/ and the NHS document have more detailed information regarding this disease.
  • Measles, mumps and rubella jabs
    Vaccination towards these diseases is highly recommended, if not mandatory for some colleges. Please check with NHS website if the costs of vaccination are covered under the NHS scheme.

Mental Health and Counselling

The University Counselling Service offers confidential counselling to both students and staff of the University, and is often the first port of call for a number of people suffering from mental health problems. The counselling service is able to offer a great deal of support on a whole variety of issues, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and relationship problems.

2-3 Bene’t Place, Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1EL (Telephone: 01223 332865)

The CUSU website mental health section has extensive information regarding student mental health and available resources in Cambridge. Feel free to contact the Welfare Officer (international-welfare@cusu.cam.ac.uk) anytime if you have any issues or would like a chat.