Students who are studying on full-time courses of any duration in Scotland (and their dependants) are eligible for medical treatment under the National Health Service (NHS) from their first day of arrival in Scotland (that is to say, they are immediately regarded as 'ordinarily resident'). You are advised to register with a local NHS medical practice as soon as possible after your arrival. Hospital treatment and visits to your medical practice are free. Charges are made for prescribed medication. You are advised to bring with you any relevant medical records and details of existing medical conditions.
You may find the following web page useful:
Charges are made for dental treatment. International students normally qualify for reduced cost dental treatment under the National Health Service. However, there is currently a shortage of NHS dentists in Aberdeen which means most new patients have to register with a private dentist. This can be expensive if a lot of treatment is required.
Sight tests are free in Scotland, but there are charges for contact lenses and glasses.
Medical Treatment When Travelling to Other Countries in Europe
The NHS does not cover travel to other parts of Europe. International students are eligible to apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which used to only apply to UK nationals. This is a reciprocal arrangement between European Economic Area states and Switzerland. It entitles holders to reduced-cost, sometimes free, medical treatment that becomes necessary while in a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.
“people who do not have UK, EU, EEA or Swiss nationality are covered in all EU countries but not in Denmark, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland. In Iceland, these people are covered for emergency treatment only."
However, we would still strongly advise students to take out private medical/travel insurance when travelling outside the UK. This is also a requirement when applying for a Schengen visa.