All students can access the UK's National Health Service. Students on a Tier 4 visa pay an Immigration Health Surcharge to access the NHS, and students on short term visas must pay to access the NHS. However it is very important for both groups to have adequate international medical insurance to guarantee optimal health care for yourself and to protect you from significant financial problems while abroad. Insurance is particularly important for travel outside the UK, medical expenses in the UK (e.g., if you are here on a short-term visa) and/or healthcare costs not covered by the NHS including repatriation.
All incoming first year students will be automatically enrolled in the Queen’s University’s Alma Mater Society supplemental health insurance. You can purchanse insurance from other companies or opt-out of the AMS insurance by proving you have sufficient coverage after September 5th. Purchasing insurance is a personal choice and we recommend you compare plans in order to make a decision that is right for you. The website to access information regarding the insurance provided by the AMS is www.studentcare.ca and the phone number is 1 (877 795 4420). Students remaining in the AMS plan are covered by Student Care which is a brokerage of Sun Life Insurance and the Travel portion is Blue Cross. BISC does not endorse any particular product.
All students are required to have supplementary health insurance. Supplementary health insurance is not the same as the Immigration Health Surcharge.
Please note: If your health card has an expiry date which falls during your time abroad, you should contact your health care provider to request a new card. If your health card expires while you are abroad, you may have difficulty receiving medical care or you may find that your supplementary medical coverage is no longer valid. Some Canadian Residents may be required to notify their ministry of health about absences from the country that exceed a certain number of days. If you fail to do so you may have trouble with health care coverage upon your return.
First-Year and Upper-Year Students
Regardless of your home institution, you will be automatically enrolled in the AMS health and dental plan through the Queen's University Alma Mater Society. If you already have coverage, you may opt out.
The opt out period for fall term is September 5th - October 2nd
The opt out period for the winter term is January 3rd - 31st
Contact a health care provider to discuss your health and upcoming journey abroad.
Get a full medical and dental check-up before heading to the BISC.
Check that your immunizations and vaccinations are up to date. You may wish to bring a copy of your medical history with you but this is not a requirement.
If you are carrying an EpiPen or require routine, or frequent, injections may wish to carry a supply of syringes and needles sufficient to last their stay abroad. Take a note from your doctor explaining that you require the syringes for medical reasons. Also check with your airline regarding any restrictions in carrying these items in your baggage.
Discuss with your doctor any prescription medicine you are taking and formulate a plan for while you are in the UK. Not all medicines available in your home country will be available in the UK.
All medication should be kept in its original labelled bottle.
If there is an addictive ingredient in any of your medications, you should have a letter from your physician detailing the problem and the generic name of the medicine.
If you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, you may wish to take a copy of your prescription.
Any condition that may require emergency attention, carry identification (a tag, bracelet or card) on your person at all times, indicating the specific nature of the problem and what should or should not be done if you are unable to communicate this information yourself. You may also want to create an allergy card in a number of languages to help you identify your allergy while you travel.