Healthcare in Ireland
Healthcare in Ireland is made up of the public and private sectors.
If you are normally resident in Ireland or are an EU/EEA/Swiss national then you are entitled to public healthcare, which is managed by the Health Service Executive and funded by general taxation.
All maternity services and child care up to the age of six months are provided free of charge. Emergency care is provided at a cost of €100 for each visit to the Accident and Emergency department. If you have moved to Ireland recently you may need to show proof of residency through evidence of paying rent, mortgage or a statement from an employer.
The standard of care in the public sector is typically very good. However, waiting lists in public hospitals can be long so most people do opt for some level of private healthcare. The most popular providers are VHI Healthcare, Aviva Healthcare, Laya and GloHealth.
There are many packages to choose from, ranging from single person to entire family, depending on your personal circumstances. All the packages and options may be a little confusing at first so it’s advisable to consult a price comparison website like this one, or call an advisory company like Cornmarket. As long as you are from the EU/EEA, Switzerland or normally a resident in Ireland, you are entitled to the same benefits from your private health insurance with these companies as any other Irish citizen.
Since 2013 up to €1,000 for adults and €500 for children of your private health insurance premium has tax relief applied at the standard rate (20%). This tax relief is deducted at source by the health insurance provider.
Visitors to Ireland who hold a European Health Insurance Card are entitled to free maintenance and treatment in public beds in the HSE and voluntary hospitals. UK and CTA (Common Travel Area) citizens do not require an EHIC card and can instead present their NHS number, NHS card, driving licence or other proof of residence within the CTA. Outpatient services are also provided for free. However the majority of patients on median incomes or above are required to pay subsidised hospital charges. If you are not from an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland, you will be entitled to certain services at a discounted rate, although you will have to pay for the remainder.