Know Your Rights: Treatment Abroad Scheme
I know that medical treatments available in Ireland can be accessed in other EU countries instead. What if I need a treatment that isn’t available in Ireland?
If you are entitled to public health services that are available in Ireland, it is possible to access these services in the European Economic Area (EEA) and be repaid the cost under the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive. If you are a public healthcare patient and need treatment that is not available to you in Ireland, you may be able to use the Treatment Abroad Scheme to get the treatment in another country in the EEA or Switzerland. The Scheme may provide help with travel costs for the patient and a travelling companion, where appropriate. You must be referred for treatment abroad by an Irish-based consultant who is treating you as a public patient. You cannot refer yourself or be referred by a GP. You, and your referring consultant, must complete an application form and include a copy of your referral letter. Your application must be approved by the Health Service Executive (HSE) before you travel or start treatment abroad. You will get a decision on your application by letter, usually within 15 to 20 working days. If your application is not approved, you will be told the reasons and given information on how to appeal the decision.
If your application is approved, the HSE will issue a form called S2 (also known as E112). This authorises treatment abroad so that you do not have to make any payment to the healthcare provider. The treatment you have abroad must be in public healthcare under a registered medical practitioner in a recognised hospital or other institution that accepts the form S2. If you don’t have the S2 at your appointment, you may be charged and not be refunded. Any treatments or consultations that are not pre-approved will not be covered.
For an application form, contact the Treatment Abroad Scheme Office. You can get the contact details for your area by calling the HSE Infoline on Callsave 1850 24 1850 or online at hse.ie/treatmentabroad.