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Preparing to go abroad for healthcare


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.

Before you travel abroad for planned healthcare:

If you do not follow the correct process, you will have to pay the full costs of your treatment.

Arranging your outpatient consultation abroad

If you have a referral letter, contact the healthcare provider to book an outpatient consultation. You must have an outpatient consultation before you have treatment.

An outpatient consultation on a day before your admission may give you more time to decide if you:

  • are comfortable with the consultant and the hospital abroad
  • want to go ahead with healthcare at a date in the future
  • have any questions before you go ahead

But an outpatient consultation can happen anytime before you receive treatment.

In a situation where a patient’s treatment is required as a matter of urgency, they are entitled to access that care under the provisions of their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Getting treatment with an EHIC

Travel, telemedicine and the CBD

Telemedicine is when you get a diagnosis, treatment or consultation using communication technology. For example, by Zoom, Skype or video call.

Inpatient healthcare

If you are having inpatient care, you must have your outpatient appointment in person.

If you use telemedicine instead of an in-person appointment, you cannot get a reimbursement for any of your healthcare costs.

Day-case healthcare

You can use telemedicine for outpatient consultations for day-case healthcare.

HSE guidelines on video and audio consultations - April 2020 (PDF, 597KB, 12 pages)

To claim reimbursement for a telemedicine consultation, you must send proof of the consultation from your medical record.

The reimbursement rate for telemedicine consultations is €194.

Medical records you may need

When you go abroad you should bring:

  • your medical records
  • information on any medicines you’re taking
  • any relevant test results

To find out what information you need to bring you can ask:

  • your GP or consultant in Ireland
  • the doctor who will treat you abroad

Ask your GP or hospital in Ireland for a copy of the records you need to bring.


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Page last reviewed: 30 October 2024