Visitors to Ireland

Services available under EU Regulation 1408/71 to holders of the European Health Insurance Card, E111 or equivalent during a temporary stay in Ireland

How do you get treatment from a general practitioner?

  • Contact any general practitioner (GP) who is contracted to the Primary Care Reimbursement Services (PCRS) scheme. More than 2,000 doctors, representing the majority of GPs in Ireland, are contracted to the scheme
  • You can get details of PCRS doctors in your area from the local Health Office here 
  • If you are not sure whether the GP is a PCRS doctor, tell him or her that you are seeking treatment under EU regulations
  • General practitioners operate specified hours for surgery visits, and these vary from practice to practice
  • Telephone the GP’s surgery in your area to find out what the surgery hours are.
  • “Out-of-hours” cover is provided at other times; a telephone number for this service is usually provided on the GP’s telephone answering service
  • Treatment is provided free of charge by PCRS doctors to all those who eligible under EU regulations

How do you get treatment by a specialist?

  • If it is the clinical opinion of the GP that you require treatment by a specialist consultant, you will be given a referral letter by the GP
  • Tell the GP that you want to be treated as a public patient
  • Many consultants in Ireland see patients both publicly and privately; if you see the consultant as a private patient, you will not be covered by EU regulations
  • Treatment by consultants is provided free of charge in the public system to those eligible under EU regulations

How do you get treatment by a dentist?

  • Emergency dental treatment for the relief of pain and urgent denture repairs are available to those eligible under EU regulations from a dentist contracted to the Local Health Office. Other necessary dental treatment is provided through local Health Office clinics as well as by contracted dentists.
  • If dental treatment becomes necessary, contact the local local Health Office or health centre to get details of contracted dentists or local Health Office clinics. In emergencies, ascertain that the dentist you choose yourself is contracted to the local Health Office to provide services under the PCRS system, and tell him or her that you are seeking treatment under EU regulations.

Other services
Certain aural or optical services are available free of charge to those eligible under EU regulations. In line with the arrangements for Irish residents, you should contact the local Health Office in the first instance to access such services.

How do you get medicines?

  • Prescription medicines must be dispensed by a GP in the public system (GMS Scheme) who will use a special prescription form to indicate to the pharmacist that the item is being dispensed under this scheme.
  • A prescription charge of €2.50 will be payable on each item dispensed under the scheme.

How do you get hospital treatment?

  • You can go direct to the Accident and Emergency unit of any public hospital if you need treatment of this nature
  • There is no charge for those eligible under EU regulations
  • For scheduled in-patient or out-patient treatment in the public system, you will need to be referred by a GP or specialist consultant contracted to the public system
  • In-patient and outpatient treatment in the public system is provided free of charge to those eligible under EU regulations. Treatment or accommodation as a private or semi-private patient is not covered under EU Regulations.

How do you get transport to a hospital?

  • Call 999 or 112 in case of immediate need of transport by ambulance to the nearest hospital

How do you get reimbursement in Ireland?
Ireland operates a benefit-in-kind healthcare system, so this question does not arise.