– *All information from CitizensInformation.ie
Cross-Border Healthcare Directive
If you are entitled to public health services in Ireland, you may opt to access those services in another member state of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA), which also includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, and be repaid the cost if you meet the requirements. This is provided for by the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive (EU Directive 2011/24/EU, pdf).
The amount that will be repaid is the cost of the public healthcare treatment in Ireland, or the cost of your treatment abroad, if that is less. It does not include other costs such as travel.
Treatments that qualify for the Treatment Abroad Scheme are not covered under the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive. In general, the Treatment Abroad Scheme covers treatments that are not available in Ireland while the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive only covers treatments that are publicly funded and available in Ireland. Read about the differences between the two schemes.
Rules to qualify
Funding will only be reimbursed for healthcare that is publicly funded and available in Ireland but the referral may be to a public or private health service in the other country. You pay the costs of treatment and then apply for a refund when you return to Ireland.
Examples of healthcare that is available under the scheme include:
- Day, in-patient and out-patient care in acute hospital services, including psychiatric services
- Community-based out-patient care
- Dental and orthodontic services (with some exceptions, such as dental screening services in schools)
- Speech and language services
- Occupational therapy services (with some exceptions, such as assessment for aids at home)
- Psychology services
- Physiotherapy services
- Disability services
- Ophthalmic services
- Mental health services
- Methadone programme
- Addiction care (following the process to access addiction care abroad)
Some health services are not included, for example, organ transplantation and long-term care such as nursing home care.
The HSE has provided a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive.
How to apply
To use health services in another country and be refunded under the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive you must:
- Be referred to the health service abroad
- Get prior authorisation if it is required for your treatment
- Apply for a refund of your costs
Read details on applying for the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive on Citizens Information HERE.
Where to apply
The HSE has established a National Contact Point office for the administration of the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive in Ireland.
National Contact Point
Cross-Border Healthcare Directive Department
St Canice’s Hospital
Tel: (056) 778 4546
Email: [email protected]
- For further details, visit Citizens Information today: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/health/eu_healthcare/cross_border_directive.html
- Visit the HSE website: https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/1/schemes/cbd/
*“Contains Irish Public Sector Data licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence”.