Using an EHIC abroad
If you need to see a GP or get treatment abroad, have your EHIC with you. Showing it will make the process easier.
How you use an EHIC abroad differs from country to country. In some countries you might have to pay for treatment, even though you may not have to in Ireland.
The European Commission website has a guide on how to use an EHIC abroad in each country. Go to 'choose country' to get information on using an EHIC in that country.
You cannot use your EHIC in the UK. But you can still get the healthcare you need. You will need to show your Irish passport to the GP or hospital.
An EHIC does not replace travel insurance.
In some countries you will have to make some payment towards the cost of treatment. This is called a 'patient co-payment' or 'patient share'.
You cannot get a refund of any patient co-payment you make.
You may get a refund if you were charged:
- because you did not show a valid EHIC
- in error
You can apply for a refund by email.
Send your receipts to E126.Refunds@hse.ie. Or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org if you live in Dublin, Wicklow or Kildare.
We will send an E126 form to the health authorities in the country where you had treatment. They will tell us:
- if you used a public health service
- the refund amount that is due
We will then let you know if a refund is due or not.
If you had private healthcare abroad you will not be due a refund.
Using an EHIC in Ireland
If you have an EHIC you can get necessary medical treatment in Ireland free of charge. An EHIC only covers public healthcare, it does not cover private healthcare.
What to do in an emergency
If it's an emergency, call 999 or 112 for an ambulance to take you to hospital.
If you have an EHIC, there's no charge for hospital treatment.
Get treatment from a doctor (GP)
Contact a doctor who's a member of the Primary Care Reimbursement Scheme (PCRS). Most doctors in Ireland are part of this scheme. If you are visiting Ireland, you can get treatment by a PCRS doctor for free with an EHIC.
Get contact details of PCRS doctors in your area from the local health office.
Doctors' surgeries have different opening hours - check with the surgery in your area. A recorded phone message will give a number to call for out-of-hours appointments.
If you need medicine a doctor will write a prescription for you. There's a €1.50 charge for each item but you only pay up to €15 a month per person.
If a doctor thinks you need to see a specialist, they will refer you.
Tell the doctor you want to be treated as a public patient (not a private patient). Treatment by specialist consultants is free with an EHIC if you're a public patient.
Get treatment from a dentist
If you have an EHIC you can be treated by a PCRS dentist for free for necessary dental treatment.
Get contact details of PCRS dentists in your area from the local health office.