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Ukrainian - Як отримати медичну допомогу в Ірландії
Find information about where to get help when you’re unwell and information on common health topics.
If you have a medical card, you do not have to pay to see your doctor or pay for medicines your doctor prescribes. If you arrived in Ireland from Ukraine and have temporary protection permission to stay in Ireland, you will automatically qualify for a medical card.
You need the following information to apply for a medical card:
- your name, current address and date of birth
- Personal Public Service (PPS) number
- GP acceptance and signature - if you do not have a preferred GP, one will be assigned to you and your family
General practitioners (GPs) are family doctors.
A Personal Public Service (PPS) number is a unique reference number that helps you access social welfare benefits, public services and information in Ireland.
A PPS number is always 7 numbers followed by 1 or 2 letters.
You will get information about how to get a PPS number when you arrive in Ireland.
If you are already in Ireland, go to your local Intreo Centre or Branch Office. Staff will help you to get a PPS number.
Applying for a medical card
To apply for a medical card:
- Complete the application form - make sure all your information is correct.
- Post the completed form to the National Medical Card Unit, PO Box 11745, Dublin 11, D11 XKF3 or email the completed form to PCRS.Applications@HSE.ie.
If you move address, let us know. You may lose eligibility if you do not keep your contact details up to date.
If you do not speak English
If you do not speak English, tell the medical staff and ask if they can arrange an interpreter for you. In some cases, the hospital or health clinic can provide an interpreter.
Getting care if you’re unwell
What you need to do depends on how unwell you are:
A little unwell
If you’re a little unwell, you can usually treat yourself at home. For example, if you have a cold.
Ask a pharmacist for advice. They can tell what medicines you can get without a prescription.
Services available at community pharmacies
You can visit a pharmacy if you feel unwell or need help with your medicines. Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals.
They provide the following:
- medicines you can buy without a prescription
- medicines you have a prescription for
- information on how to take your medicines correctly
- advice on minor illnesses and when to see a GP (family doctor)
If you have a prescription from Ukraine and need your medicines urgently, the pharmacist may be able to give you a small supply. Bring your prescription, the medicine packet and your passport when you go to the pharmacy. You will need to see a GP (family doctor) to get a new prescription.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive test result, do not go to the pharmacy. Ask someone else to go for you.
You need medical help
If you’re unwell and need medical advice, see a GP (family doctor). You usually need to make an appointment.
Appointments are free if you have a medical card. The cost of an appointment is around €50 to €60 if you do not have a medical card.
GPs can treat general health problems.
GP services are usually open from 9am to 6pm on Monday to Friday. If you need urgent medical care outside of these hours, contact an out of hours service.
At your GP appointment
Make some notes of things you want to discuss or remember to tell your GP. Take those notes with you on the day. Bring your medical card if you have one.
Your GP will ask you about your health, medical history and symptoms you have.
They may do the following:
- give you advice about how to manage your symptoms at home
- do some tests to find out more about your symptoms
- talk to you about treatment options
- give you a prescription for medicines
- refer you to a doctor that specialises in the symptoms you have - if the GP cannot diagnose your illness or treat you
Ask your GP questions about your treatment or medicine if you need to.
If your GP thinks you need urgent treatment, they will send you to a hospital.
You need urgent medical help
In an emergency, you can do either of the following:
- phone 999 or 112 and ask for an ambulance
- go to your nearest emergency department or hospital
The emergency department in a hospital treats the following issues:
- serious illness
- serious injury
- people at risk of dying
The emergency department will only treat you for these serious issues. Go to a GP or the GP out of hours service for all other treatments.
If you are not in immediate danger, do not go to the emergency department unless your GP tells you to and gives you a letter for the hospital staff. If you go to the emergency department and it is not an emergency, expect to wait a long time.
Minor injuries can be treated at an injury unit.
Getting dental care in Ireland
If you have a medical card, you can get some basic dental treatments for free. A dentist can tell you if the treatment you need is covered by the medical card. You can visit any dentist who accepts medical cards.
Many private dentists accept medical cards. You can ask them before you make an appointment.
You may have to pay for some dental treatment.
Getting contraception and sexual health services in Ireland
You can get advice and prescriptions for contraception from your GP or a family planning clinic. GP services are free if you have a medical card.
You can also get emergency contraception in a pharmacy without a prescription.
Sexually transmitted infection (STI) and HIV testing
You can get STI testing and treatment for free in public STI clinics. Free home STI testing is also available.
HIV treatment is free in Ireland when you use public health services.
Getting pregnancy care in Ireland
You can get pregnancy care for free in Ireland through the Maternity and Infant Care scheme. Your GP can help you register for the scheme.
Unplanned pregnancy support
If you need support for an unplanned pregnancy, MyOptions provides counselling and information. The service is free and confidential.
You can talk to a counsellor about all your options, including continued pregnancy supports and abortion services.
If you do not speak English, we can provide an interpreter. Call us on freephone 1800 828 010. You or someone on your behalf will need to tell us what language you speak and give us your phone number. An interpreter will call you back and help you speak to a MyOptions counsellor over the telephone.
Sexual assault treatment units (SATU)
A sexual assault treatment unit (SATU) is a safe, free and confidential place to go if you have been raped or sexually assaulted. We help anyone who has had unwanted sexual contact of any kind, by providing specialist medical assistance following sexual assault or rape. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, in 6 locations across Ireland.
Mental health support
The following mental health supports and services are available:
Talk to your GP if you are having difficulties with your mental health.
They can refer you to specialist mental health services.
Organisations that offer free mental health support
Aware provides free support, education and information for people with mental health issues as well as their family and friends.
Childline offers a confidential 24-hour listening service for children and young people up to the age of 18.
Text 50101 from 10am to 4pm every day
Chat online at www.childline.ie
MyMind provides free counselling and psychotherapy for people affected by the war in Ukraine. The service is available in English and 17 other languages. You can access the service in person, online or by phone.
Phone 0818 500 800
Text 80808 is a free 24/7 text service. It provides everything from a calming chat to immediate support for people going through a mental health or emotional crisis – big or small.
Text HELLO to 50808, anytime day or night.
Articles and information for young people about accessing the healthcare and social welfare systems in Ireland.
Getting vaccinations in Ireland
Vaccinations can help to protect you and your family against certain diseases. You can talk about vaccines you or your child need with your GP or public health nurse. They can answer any questions you have.
What is a public health nurse?
Public health nurses provide care in the community. A public health nurse may visit you if a GP or hospital refers you to the service.
They usually look after the following people:
- babies and children
- new mothers
- older people
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine
Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and others against COVID-19.
Vaccines your baby will get
From 2 months to 13 months, babies in Ireland get a series of vaccines to protect them against some very infectious diseases. You can get these vaccines through a GP.
The vaccines include the following:
- 6 in 1 - protects against 6 diseases: diphtheria, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), pertussis (whooping cough), polio and tetanus
- MenB - protects against meningococcal B disease
- PCV - protects against pneumococcal disease
- Rotavirus - protects against rotavirus infection, the most common cause of gastroenteritis in children in Ireland
- MenC - protects against meningococcal C disease
- MMR - protects against measles, mumps and rubella (also called German
- Hib - protects against haemophilus influenzae type B
Talk to your GP if your baby did not get some of these vaccines.
Vaccines your child will get
Your child can get some vaccines in school in Ireland. You will get details of the vaccines and a consent form before your child is vaccinated. Your child will only get the vaccines if you give your consent.
Children aged 4 to 5 get the 4 in 1 and MMR vaccines. The 4 in 1 vaccine protects against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and tetanus. The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps and rubella.
Children aged 12 to 13 get the HPV, Tdap and Men ACWY vaccines.
The HPV vaccine protects against the HPV virus. The HPV virus can cause cancer.
The Tdap vaccine protects against the following infections:
- pertussis (whooping cough)
The Men ACWY vaccine protects against four types of meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease can cause meningitis (inflammation of the lining around the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning).
Check your immunisation records to see if you got the vaccines included in the Irish immunisation schedule. If you did not get these vaccines, talk to a GP.
Vaccines and pregnancy
If you are planning to get pregnant, make sure that you are immune to infection from rubella. Rubella infection during pregnancy causes major birth defects in 9 in 10 babies. It may also cause miscarriage or stillbirth.
A GP can check if you are immune to rubella infection. MMR vaccination is only required if you do not have documentation of having had at least one MMR vaccine in the past.
During pregnancy you can get the following vaccines:
- flu vaccine - this is safe to get at any time during your pregnancy
- COVID-19 vaccine - this is safe to get at any time during your pregnancy
- pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine - get this vaccine between 16 and 36 weeks of pregnancy to get the best protection for your baby
You need 2 doses of the MMR vaccine to get protection against measles. Anyone can get measles if they did not get the MMR vaccines.
Check if it’s measles
The first symptoms of measles are:
- cold-like symptoms such as aches and pains, a runny nose, sneezing and a cough
- sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light
- a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or above (fever), which may reach around 40 degrees Celsius
- small greyish-white spots in your mouth
- loss of appetite
- tiredness, irritability and a general lack of energy
Contact your GP as soon as possible if:
- you think you or your child have measles
Call your GP’s surgery before your visit, as they may need to make arrangements to reduce the risk of spreading the infection.
Contact your GP or maternity hospital urgently if:
- you are pregnant and you think you might have measles
Prevent the spread of measles
Do not go to childcare, school, work for at least 4 days from when the rash first appears.
To reduce the risk of spreading the infection to others, avoid contact with young children, pregnant women and people with weak immune systems.
If your child is in childcare or school, tell them if your child develops measles. Children in your child's group or class may need to be vaccinated if they are not fully vaccinated against measles.
Tell the accommodation manager if you are in shared accommodation and you or your child develops measles.
Download a poster in English on what to do if someone develops measles
Download a poster in Ukrainian on what to do if someone develops measles
Download a poster in Russian on what to do if someone develops measles
Breast screening involves taking a mammogram (x-ray) of your breasts, which is used to help find breast cancer when it is too small to see or feel.
When breast cancer is found early, it is easier to treat and there is a better chance of recovery.
BreastCheck is available to women aged 50-69. Women in this age range benefit most from a breast screening programme.
BowelScreen is the National Bowel Screening Programme.
The programme offers all men and women between the ages of 60 and 69 a free home screening test called the FIT test every two years. (FIT stands for faecal immunochemical test.)
If we find bowel cancer early, it is easier to treat and there is a higher chance of recovery.
Diabetic retinopathy screening
Diabetic RetinaScreen – The National Diabetic Retinal Screening Programme is a government-funded programme that offers free, regular diabetic retinopathy screening to people with diabetes aged 12 years and older.
A cervical screening test checks the health of your cervix. The cervix is the opening to your womb from your vagina.
Cervical screening is one of the best ways to protect yourself from cervical cancer.
Newborn bloodspot screening
In the first week after your baby is born, you will be offered newborn bloodspot screening for your baby. This is often called the ‘heel prick’.
Support for people with disabilities
Adults and children with disabilities in Ireland can get support to live in and be part of their community.
We provide support for people with:
- intellectual disabilities
- autism spectrum disorder
- difficulties with seeing (blind or visually impaired)
- difficulties with hearing
- difficulties with walking
- difficulties with feeding or dressing
The services we provide can include:
- visits from a public health nurse (PHN)
- home help or personal assistance
- psychological services
- speech and language therapy
- occupational therapy
- social work services
- daycare or respite care
There are waiting lists for some services. How long you wait depends on the type of support you need and the demand for services in your area.
Accessing disability services
You can make your own referral to the following disability services.
Making a referral to children’s disability services
Children’s disability services can help your child develop skills they can use at home or in school.
To refer your child to a children’s disability service, do the following:
- Complete the Children’s Services Referral Form (PDF, 101kb, 11 pages).
- Complete the additional information form for your child’s age group.
- Send the forms to the children's disability service in your area.
Making a referral for day services for adults
Waiting lists for some disability services can be long. There are other organisations that can provide information and support.
The National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities (NAS) is an organisation that helps adults with disabilities. It provides a free and confidential advocacy service. Advocacy services support people with disabilities to make decisions, say what they want and get services they need.
To request International Sign Language interpreters, contact the Irish Deaf Society.
Phone or text: 086 440 1443
You may be entitled to financial support and allowances. Contact your local Intreo office for more information.
Information in English
You can find more information in English on this website on the following topics: