What is the Treatment Abroad Scheme

Please note that HSE Treatment Abroad Scheme application form is not available to download online. You can request an application by emailing treatmentabroad.scheme@hse.ie or by contacting the HSE TAS office by telephone. Contact details here


The HSE operates a Treatment Abroad Scheme (TAS) for people entitled to treatment in another EU/EEA member state. The TAS provides the cost of approved treatments in another EU/EEA member state or Switzerland. The TAS allows a Consultant based in Ireland to refer a patient that is normally resident in Ireland for treatment in another EU member state or Switzerland, where the treatment in question meets the following criteria:

(a) The application to refer a patient abroad has been assessed and a determination given before that patient goes abroad.


(b) Following clinical assessment, the referring Consultant certifies the following:
- They recommend the patient be treated in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland;
- The treatment is medically necessary and will meet the patient's needs;
- The treatment is a proven form of medical treatment and is not experimental or test treatment;
- The treatment is in a recognised hospital or other institution and is under the control of a registered medical practitioner;
- The hospital outside the state will accept EU/EEA form E112 (IE).

Accessing the Scheme
A person may be entitled to access the scheme and avail of treatment in the public healthcare system of another EU/EEA member state or Switzerland where the conditions, criteria and procedures set out below are all adhered to.

Conditions and Criteria
A person ordinarily resident in the Republic of Ireland may be referred abroad by an Irish based consultant for treatment that is:
(a) Among the benefits provided for by Irish legislation and
(b) (i) not available in Ireland or
(ii) not available within the time normally necessary for obtaining it in Ireland, taking account of his/her current state of health and the probable course of the disease.

Please note self referrals or referrals by a G.P. are not acceptable.

An application form must be completed by both the patient and the patient's referring Consultant. The completed application form must be submitted to the HSE for assessment and a decision must be given by the HSE prior to the patient travelling abroad or blood samples being sent abroad. The HSE will not be responsible for any costs associated with a treatment or consultation abroad where prior approval was not given and an E112 was not issued.

Following clinical assessment, medical evidence must be provided by the referring hospital Consultant, giving details of the patient's medical condition, the type of treatment envisaged and the proposed provider of the treatment abroad. A copy of the referral letter to the Consultant outside the state may be sufficient. The referring Consultant having reviewed the patient in the immediately previous two weeks must certify the following:


- They recommend the patient be treated in another EU/EEA country;
- The treatment is medically necessary and will meet the patient's needs;
- The treatment is a proven form of medical treatment and is not experimental or test treatment;
- The treatment is in a recognised hospital or other institution and is under the control of a registered medical practitioner;
- The hospital or other institution accepts form E112 (IE);
- The treatment is not available in Ireland.
- Not available within the time normally necessary for obtaining it in Ireland, taking account of his/her current state of health and the probable course of the disease.


The application and referral letter must be submitted to the HSE TAS Office in sufficient time as to allow assessment and decision prior to the patient travelling abroad. The decision making process is estimated at 15 to 20 working days following the receipt of a fully completed application and suitable referral letter. Only information pertaining to the estimated date for issue of a decision can be provided by TAS office staff. TAS office staff are not permitted to give confirmation of a decision in advance of the issuing of the decision letter to the applicant.

Approval, where granted, is for specific medical treatment as per evidence provided by the referring Consultant and the submission of a completed application form. Requests for additional treatments or associated examinations or consultations which may arise while visiting the foreign facility will not be considered or included in the payment to be made by the HSE. Any costs associated with any such additional treatment, or associated examination or consultation availed of, will be the responsibility of the applicant.

In some cases patients may require subsequent visits to the accepting hospital abroad. Treatments subsequent to that specified in the initial approval will require submission of a new fully completed application form to be processed as outlined above.

Where the decision has been made to decline an application, the patient/applicant is informed of the decision rationale and provided with a copy of the appeals process

The Patient's Responsibility
The patient/applicant must submit a fully completed application form accompanied by the appropriate referring Consultant's letter in sufficient time to allow the HSE assess and make a decision on same. The onus is on the patient to submit a fully completed application form and to provide the necessary information from the referring Consultant. Incomplete applications will be returned to the patient/applicant for provision of the appropriate information prior to re-submitting to the TAS office.

If approved, the patient/applicant must provide confirmation of every appointment they are due to attend to allow the issue of the E112 form to cover the cost of their visit. Failure to produce the document at their appointment may result in them being charged for their hospital visit. Reimbursement of any fees incurred due to the failure to produce the documents at an appointment will not be reimbursable by the HSE.

The Consultant's Responsibility
The Consultant must fully complete the application form and provide sufficient information, giving details of the patient's medical condition, the type of treatment envisaged and the provider of treatment abroad.

Referrals must be on the basis of medical necessity confirmed by a clinical review of the patient, to the public healthcare system of another EU/EEA member state or Switzerland through the issue of model form E112 (IE). Therefore the consultant must be currently treating the patient and be filling in the application form on the basis of his/her medical opinion and not at the request of another member of his/her team or the patient.

Should a Consultant wish to make a referral abroad that is outside the TAS qualifying criteria, this will be a matter for the Consultant and the referring Hospital. In this case the CEO of the referring Hospital should be notified in consideration of the implications this may have from a hospital budget perspective.

The following link provides a Guide for Consultants in making application to TAS

 

The TAS Office
The TAS office will return any incomplete applications to the patient/applicant outlining information needed. The TAS office aims to provide a decision on an application within 15 to 20 working days. The TAS office will notify the patient/applicant and the Consultant on decision without undue delay by letter.

Travel Policy

The Treatment Abroad Scheme as provided for in EU Regulations and Department of Health and Children Guidelines, does not include a provision for Travel and or Subsistence expenses for patients or their relatives travelling abroad to avail of approved treatments. However, the HSE and specifically the TAS may provide assistance towards reasonable economic air or sea travel fares for patients, and a travelling companion where appropriate. The HSE Treatment Abroad Scheme National Travel Policy was implemented in November 2009 to standardise and provide equity to the provision of entitlements relating to travel expenses. This policy supersedes all previous arrangements on the provision of travel and subsistence expenses regardless of the date of approval granted or the value of coverage provided previously.


The Treatment Abroad Scheme (TAS), is governed by EU Regulation 1408/71, as per the procedures set out in EU Regulation 574/72, and in accordance with Department of Health and Children Guidelines.

How to apply

Click here to find out how to apply for Treatment abroad.

Frequently asked questions

Follow this link provides answers to FAQ's on the HSE TAS