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Healthcare and Medical Treatment

Ireland - Healthcare and Medical Treatment

Ireland's healthcare system is modern and efficient. The public health system is means-tested, with some services provided free to anyone who is ordinarily resident in Ireland, i.e. currently living in Ireland and intending to stay for at least a year, regardless of nationality. People on low incomes qualify for a Medical Card, entitling them to all medical, dental and optical services free of charge, including prescription medicines. EU nationals who are posted by their employer to work in Ireland on a temporary basis are eligible for Medical Card services.

Non-Medical Card holders who are ordinarily resident in Ireland are entitled to free in-patient hospital services, subject to a daily accommodation charge of EUR 45, out-patient hospital services, emergency treatment and maternity and infant care services. They are charged for GP services, but may be eligible for subsidized prescription medicines and maternity care.

If you are a non-EU/EEA national, to qualify for free public health services you will have to apply to your local Health Service Executive office. The HSE is likely to require proof of your address in Ireland, bank account details, and your residence permit or visa.

There are also many private health clinics in Ireland and many people choose to take out private health insurance, largely as a result of the long waiting lists for treatment in public hospitals.

Typical fees for medical care are in the range of EUR 20-35 for a GP consultation, EUR 40-50 for treatment from a specialist, and EUR 100-130 per day's stay in a private clinic. There are various private health insurance schemes including BUPA and the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme.

If you are a taxpayer in Ireland you can claim tax relief on any medical expenses that are not covered by the public health care system or by private insurance. You can also claim tax relief on health insurance premiums.

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