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Health care system in Ireland

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Do I have to subscribe to a health insurance before moving to Ireland? Am I eligible to the public health care system? Find out in this article.

In Ireland, the public healthcare system is managed by 8 regional health authorities administered by the Ministry of Health. These regional authorities take in charge health care and hospitalization related costs for people on low income. There are two categories of support: in a first category, people on low income receiving the Medical Card giving them access to free health care; in a second category, citizens receiving partial support from the public health care system and sharing costs of health care. Citizens of the European Economic Area benefit from the same level of coverage as Irish citizens.

For more information about how to register in one of the programme above or about how to to get a Medical Card, please visit the Public Service Information website.

Health care system

The public health care system is sometimes criticized in Ireland because waiting times for care can be fairly long, but also because of the lack of health practitioners and hospital staff. As a result, many Irish people opt for a private health insurance and choose to get treatments from private hospitals or clinics. A private insurance package is sometimes provided by the employer, but you can find affordable private insurance packages from € 50 or € 100 per month. The offer is wide, it's up to you to find the insurance that best meets your needs. For more information about private health insurance in Ireland, refer to the Public Service Information website.

European Health Insurance Card

Citizens of the EU are covered in Ireland through their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Health related costs in the country will be taken in charge in the same conditions as for Irish nationals. If you don't have an EHIC, visit your national health fund to get some information before leaving for Ireland.

If you need a private health insurance (as required in the framework of the working holiday visa), please use our free advice and quotation service!

  Emergency numbers in Ireland:

112 or 999: Fire Services
112 or 999: Police
112 or 999: Ambulance

  Useful links:

Citizen Information – Public healthcare system www.citizensinformation.ie
Citizen Information – Private insurance www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/health/health-insurance
Department of Health health.gov.ie
European Health Insurance Card in Ireland www.hse.ie

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