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Types of healthcare available


This content is currently being reviewed. Read about your rights in cross-border healthcare under EU law and the regulations for cross-border healthcare under Irish law.

There is no list of specific healthcare you can get abroad under Cross Border Directive (CBD) scheme.

Generally, if the healthcare is available publicly in Ireland, you can be referred for the same healthcare abroad.

Your GP or consultant can tell you if you qualify.

Healthcare available under CBD

Examples of healthcare available under the CBD scheme:

  • day, inpatient and outpatient care in acute hospital services, including psychiatric services
  • community-based outpatient 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, such as cataract surgery 
  • orthopaedic services, such as hip replacements
  • fertility treatment (IVF, IUI or ICSI )
  • mental health services
  • methadone programme
  • addiction care

Healthcare not available under CBD

Examples of healthcare you cannot get under the CBD include:

  • organ transplants
  • any long-term care that helps people do everyday tasks such as nursing home care
  • vaccination against infectious diseases
  • clinical trials
  • drug therapies that are not currently provided publicly in Ireland

Orthodontic treatment

Orthodontic treatment can be used to help straighten your teeth. It's usually done by fitting braces. A full course of treatment usually takes 18 months to 2 years. After the braces are removed, most people must wear a retainer.

Orthodontic treatment is available under the Cross Border Directive (CBD). But you have to be eligible for the same public treatment in Ireland.

Usually, only children under the age of 16 are eligible. You can access the orthodontic service through screening appointments in primary school.

To be eligible:

  1. Your local HSE dental clinic must refer your child for an orthodontic assessment.
  2. The HSE orthodontic service must assess your child and approve their treatment.

Your HSE orthodontic service can give you a letter to show that your child is eligible for treatment. You must send this letter with your application.

How much you can claim for orthodontic treatment

You cannot apply for a reimbursement until you reach the retainer stage of treatment.

You can claim a reimbursement for orthodontic treatment abroad up to a maximum of €2,200.

For example, if the treatment abroad costs €5,000, you can claim €2,200. If it costs €1,000, you can claim €1,000.

The maximum amounts repayable for each stage are:

  • assessment for eligibility for orthodontic treatment: €100
  • orthodontic treatment: €1,800
  • treatment completion – at end of retainer phase: €300

You must get the orthodontic treatment in another EU or EEA member state. This is the same as any healthcare under the CBD.

Fertility treatment

You can get IVF, IUI or ICSI using the CBD scheme.

You will need to:

When you apply for repayment

You can apply for reimbursement in the normal way for each scheme.

The specialist that treats you abroad will need to sign your application. This is to confirm that you meet the access criteria as it is in Ireland.

We will also check that any treatment you get is the same that is publically available in Ireland.

You will not be repaid if your care was shared between a provider in Ireland and a provider abroad. For example, you cannot use eggs that you had frozen in Ireland as part of your treatment abroad. You must have all of your treatment at your chosen provider abroad.

Treatment that is not covered

You cannot use the CBD to get IVF, ICSI or IUI if you:

  • cannot use your own eggs or sperm
  • are in a same-sex couple
  • are single

This is because treatment under these circumstances is currently not available in Ireland. You can only have the same treatment that is available to public patients in Ireland.


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Page last reviewed: 5 October 2022