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The fees for RA?

Hello there,

I'm a Chinese girl. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis two years ago, when I was 20.

I'm planning on doing an exchange program in a university in Leicester for 2 years. But my condition makes me hesitate about this.

As you all know, we have to take the blood test to secure that our organs are functioning well and not affected by the medicines. I really want to know how much will these tests cost in UK. and is the medication affordable?

I'm determined that I won't let rheumatoid arthritis from living my life to its best extends, but I cannot make blind decisions. So I sincerely hope someone could help me.

11 Replies

Hi Yoozzii

I don't know very much about health care for foreign students, however, I found this website (link below) which may help. It seems to suggest you need student health insurance while in this country. But not 100% sure might be a good idea to speak to the British Embassy or High Commission in your home country.

Hope the site is of some help to you.

Beth x


Thank you Beth!

The website was helpful! Next time I visit my doctor, I will ask for a certificate of the disease as mentioned in the article.

hope you have a nice day~


Hello yoozzii,

I did a bit of googling and found a British Council site:

It seems to suggest that you may be eligible for free treatment if your course lasts longer than six months. I don't know how much you know about healthcare in Britain but most of us don't know what the cost of bloodtests and medication is as we get it for free under the National Health Service. Private healthcare is also available, though.

Have you asked Leicester University about this? Also, as well as getting information from organisations and websites, might you be able to get in touch with other Chinese exchange students who have healthcare needs and are already in Britain? I think the Student Union at Leicester might help you there. (Unless they've closed down for the summer, it's so long since I was at university I can't remember how it all works!)

Good luck with your plans!

Christina x


Hi Christina,

Thank you for the help!

My course will last for more than 6 months, so I suppose I'm entitled to the NHS(this was emphasized on the London Olympics opening ceremony!). I wonder how are you doing with the NHS regarding your condition? Is it efficient and helpful?

best wishes!



Hi Yo,

is the NHS efficient and helpful? That's quite a question! I think 2 people with the same condition can walk into a hospital on the same day, see the same consultant and find that their experiences were quite different!

The reason I suggested speaking to other Chinese exchange students was because what will probably matter most to you is how far the NHS resembles or differs from Healthcare Providers in China.

Personally I'm not too sure how I feel about the NHS at the moment. The fact that treatment is free is wonderful. However it's early days for me with this disease (I've been diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis but do not yet know which kind) and I would like the system to move a little more quickly. The NHS is under pressure. I've just noticed in your reply to Phoebe that you say it is difficult to see a specialist in China. That actually makes me appreciate the fact that everyone who needs to see a specialist here will see one even though the waiting times can be quite long.

Assuming that you qualify for NHS treatment, I think you will probably be quite happy with the service you get. I expect you know a fair bit about your condition after 2 years and that should help things go smoothly. And now you have found this site there will be lots of people ready to give advice and support if you need it!

Hope all goes well,



Hi. I think that Feather is right. Leicester University will have Guidance advisors for International students, so I suggest you start with them.

RA counts as a Disability, so there may be a lot of help and support for you if you ask.

Good luck.


Also, having looked at the 2 websites for Universities in Leicester, I have found that these universities have their own representatives in China, so that might be a good place to start?


Hello Phoebe,

Thank your for helping me!

Yes, they have representatives, who mainly help us with application and visa. So, it's not that much helpful. I also have tried to reach the health center in University of Leicester, but haven't got any reply yet.

I'm quite surprised that RA counts as a disability. In China, RA isn't paid enough attention, even though we have a much higher rate of this disease. And it was so hard to see a specialist on RA here, will it be of any difficulty in UK?

Take care,



I found that there is a Rheumatology Department at Leicester Royal Infirmary, so there will be specialists available in the city. However, I have really no idea if you will need to pay fees or not.

Hope all goes well for you.


Hi Yoozzii

As the others have mentioned it is probably worth contacting Leicester uni as I'm sure they will be used to students coming from abroad to study and will hopefully be able to advise you. It may also be worth contacting the Chinese Embassy in the UK, it looks like there is quite a lot of information on their website:

Kind regards

Sarah Kate

NRAS Helpline


Hi Sarah Kate!

Thank you for the advise!

I have tried to contact uni of leicester, but haven't received any reply. So I will keep waiting. And people here on NRAS are so helpful and kind, I'm really impressed!

good day!



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