Ireland has a comprehensive, government funded public healthcare system. The Health Service Executive (HSE) is the government body responsible for ensuring access to healthcare.
Am I entitled to Health Services through the HSE?
People living in Ireland for at least one year are considered by the HSE to be 'ordinarily resident' and are entitled to either full eligibility (Category 1) or limited eligibility (Category 2) for health services.
People who have not been resident in Ireland for at least one year must satisfy the HSE that it is their intention to remain for a minimum of one year in order to be eligible for health services. Dependants of such individuals must also contact the HSE to confirm their eligibility.
Category 1 - People with Medical Cards
Over 30% of people in Ireland have medical cards. Medical Cards allow people to get a wide range of health services and medicines free of charge.
Category 2 - People without Medical Cards
People without medical cards can still access a wide range of community and hospital health services, either free of charge or at reduced cost. This website contains a detailed directory of the services that are provided by the HSE, and information on how to access them. Use the menu on the left to browse a detailed list of services nationwide.
Types of Healthcare Services
Emergency health services in Ireland provide medical attention for illnesses or injuries requiring immediate treatment. Typical examples of injuries that may require emergency health services include those resulting from accidents, heart attacks or other sudden illnesses.
Emergency health services are usually delivered by a general practitioner (GP), ambulance personnel or by attendance at the Accident and Emergency Department of an acute hospital.
The contact number for Emergency Services is: 112 or 999
- General Health/Non-Emergency
A General Practitioner (GP) is the official term in Ireland for a doctor who gives services to people in his/her surgery or in their own home. If you require non-emergency healthcare, you can find your local GP or medical centre on the HSE website https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/maps/ Doctors (or GP's) are often referred to as the "Primary Care" service. Many medical centres can also offer other health services like dental, optical, chiropody (foot doctors) and physiotherapy.
- Mental Health
While many migrants thrive in Ireland, the mental health of some migrants can often suffer as a result of displacement from their homes whether it be voluntary or forced. Feelings of isolation, depression, and the sense loss of one's home or family and friends can lead to many negative feelings and thoughts and sometimes harmful behaviour. Finding someone to talk to about how you are feeling is an important step towards improving your mental health. Professional help is available through the Health Service Executive.
Other organisations who may be able to help are
SPIRASI - Who provide counselling to migrants who have been victims of torture
Lucena Clinics - Who provide counselling services to children and youths on referral from your Doctor/GP