About the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

Getting necessary healthcare in other EU / EEA countries
As an Irish resident you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there.

Until now, you needed an E form – such as the E111 or the E128 - to get such treatment. Now, these paper forms are being replaced by the European Health Insurance Card. One Card is needed for each individual or member of the family.

The Card was introduced on 1 June 2004. It means that you can get necessary healthcare in the public system of any EU / EEA country or Switzerland, if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay in that country.

Apply for the European Health Insurance Card if you:

  • Plan to go on holiday to another EU / EEA country or Switzerland
  • Regularly visit any of these countries, for example, on business, as a transport worker or for leisure
  • Plan to go to any of these countries to seek work
  • Are being sent by your employer to work in any of these countries temporarily but will continue to pay tax in Ireland
  • Intend to undertake a course of study in any of these countries but still consider yourself as ordinarily resident in Ireland
  • Intend to visit any of these countries for any other type of temporary stay where healthcare in itself is not the aim of the visit

Travelling to Great Britain or Northern Ireland
You don’t need a European Health Insurance Card to get necessary healthcare while on a temporary visit to the UK. It is enough to show proof that you are ordinarily resident in Ireland – in practice, this means a driving licence, passport or similar document.

If you would like more information, please call your Local Health Office