Comprehensive free healthcare is available to people living in Scotland. The majority of NHS Scotland (National Health Service) provision is paid for through taxation. Private care is paid for, usually, through a private healthcare insurance scheme or individuals.

NHS Scotland will always provide free accident and emergency treatment.

Students on a full-time course receive the same free care as permanent residents. If you are studying part-time you could also be eligible for free NHS treatment.

If you are employed or self-employed in Scotland you are entitled to health care from the NHS, as will your spouse and immediate family.

Any treatment or help with NHS costs does not impact on your immigration status.

The NHS in Scotland is managed by the Scottish Government.  More information on the care available to you is on the Scottish Government website and NHS inform .

Local doctors

If you are living in Scotland, you will need to register with a local Scottish GP (General Practitioner). For students, the university will normally provide the name of  a suitable GP in the area or on campus. It is free to register, and nearly all the treatment will be free of charge.


Some services, such as dental care do require a fee, although you may be entitled to receive help with payments.

24 hour care

If you are ill outside of normal GP opening times, or have a medical query that is non-urgent - you can contact NHS 24 by phone on 111. They provide 24-hour telecare and can put you in touch with the relevant health services you need.

Working for the NHS

NHS Scotland is the single biggest employer in Scotland employing people in over 70 professions.  Applications are particularly welcome from professionally qualified Healthcare staff from outside the UK.  For a list of current opportunities and advice visit NHS Jobs Scotland.

More on Scotland’s Healthcare on the NHS Scotland site