Unfortunately, public health care in Ireland is not universal. This means that according to your income, you will receive a certain level of medical assistance. In other words, people who just arrive to Ireland do not receive free medical assistance..
If you are a European citizen, it is highly recommended to bring a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This document will allow you to receive necessary medical assistance. If you do not have an EHIC or an Irish Health Insurance Card, you will be considered a private patient and thus, you will have to pay for the service you get. The first time you go for a consultation, you will have to pay a non-refundable 100€ fee. Future consultations cost between 50€-60€ approximately (consultations are given by a GP-General practitioner).
To obtain an Irish Health Insurance Card, you need a minimum of a year residing in Ireland. From that moment on, you will have the right to medical assistance like every other Irish citizen. You will be able to register yourself as patient of a GP.
The Irish government has an insufficient budget for sanitary personnel. This causes long queues for consultations in hospitals, including emergencies. There are new hospitals and the health care is good, but there is a lack of personnel. Due to this, some hospitals close and patients have to agglomerate in rooms and corridors. We recommend not to go in the afternoon or at night because you might have to wait for hours... even 9 hours, not joking!
To avoid these problems, you may want to buy Private Health Insurance. You will be assisted faster, and in case you have a mild problem you can get private consultation. If you plan to work in Ireland, usually the company that hires you pays for your health insurance (or consultations).
Tip: Medicine is expensive. If you often need some kind of medicine, bring a big amount of it to Ireland.
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