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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 is a partnership between health services in the North and South of Ireland. 

It 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.

This partnership has been in place for over 25 years. This work will continue after Brexit.

Cross border access to health services

These services are managed by service level agreements and 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

If the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal, it will not affect the CTA.

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.

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.