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Treatment abroad and cross border

We have a number of healthcare arrangements with the UK.

These include the:

  • Cross Border Directive
  • Treatment Abroad Scheme

Access to health services

Irish and British citizens have the right to access healthcare in Ireland and Britain. The Irish Government has recently introduced legislation to make sure this continues after Brexit.

Visit the Department of Health website for health-related information after Brexit.

Cross Border Directive

You can get healthcare in other EU and European Economic Area (EEA) states. This is under the Cross Border Directive (CBD). You must be ‘ordinarily resident’ in Ireland and not getting a state benefit from another EU and EEA state. 'Ordinarily resident’ means that you are living here and intend to live here for at least one year.

Read more about the Cross Border Directive (CBD).

Treatment Abroad Scheme

As a public patient, you can apply for the Treatment Abroad Scheme (TAS) to cover the cost of treatment in:

  • another country in the EU
  • another country in the EEA
  • Switzerland

Read more about the Treatment Abroad Scheme (TAS).

Services for people in border areas

The HSE EU and North South Unit contributes to the health and wellbeing of people living in the border region and beyond. It enables better access to health and social care services. It does this through cross-border, all-island and multi-country work.

 The Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT) partnership between health services North and South has been in place for over 25 years. 

This partnership includes the HSE, the Western and Southern Health and Social Care Trusts, Public Health Agency Northern Ireland and Health and Social Care Board in Northern Ireland.

This work will continue after Brexit.

Cross border access to health services

These services are managed by service level agreements. They include:

  •  All-Island Paediatric Cardiology services.
  •  North West Cancer Centre, Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry.
  •  Cross-border Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Services.

The Irish and UK governments are committed to continuing cross border arrangements.

Common Travel Area

Ireland and the UK are part of the Common Travel Area (CTA). This was in place before Ireland and the UK joined the EU.

The CTA means that Irish and British citizens can:

  • move freely
  • live
  • work
  • access public services - including healthcare

The Irish and British Governments are committed to maintaining current healthcare arrangements. Under the CTA, Irish and British citizens who live in, work in, or visit the other state have the right to access healthcare there. Other North South cooperation arrangements will also continue on the island of Ireland.

Plans for other areas of healthcare are being put in place with UK hospitals. For example, paediatric organ transplant. This includes Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.

The government is working to make sure that new arrangements will provide continued access to health services:

  • between Ireland and the UK
  • on the island of Ireland - where patients in both jurisdictions currently access

More information

Read about the GDPR requirements for HSE services for HSE staff on the Brexit GDPR page on the HSE intranet.

Email any HSE-related Brexit questions to brexit@hse.ie.