Ireland is a great place to live for expats moving to Ireland from the UK due to its impressive health system, as demonstrated by the high 8.9 score on the OECD Better Life Index for health. However, it's important that prospective settlers understand their access rights and public or private options before relocating – not only in order to best take advantage of government services but also make sure they have adequate coverage while living here comfortably and safely.
The Two-Tier Irish Health System
Ireland offers two options for health care: public and private. Permanent residents can access publicly-funded healthcare, or opt to pay extra for services that are not supported by the state. UK citizens should familiarise themselves with both choices in order to make an informed decision concerning their medical needs while living there.
The Health Service Executive (the Public System)
The Health Service Executive (HSE) is Ireland's national public healthcare provider, dedicated to ensuring all its citizens have access to high-quality and cost-effective care. Whether managing hospital care or community services; providing mental health assistance or implementing preventative initiatives - the HSE has one primary goal: safeguarding the well-being of Irish individuals by delivering safe and reliable medical services with a strong focus on patient safety & satisfaction.
UK citizens have the same rights of access to public healthcare as Irish citizens.
Private Healthcare in Ireland
In most cases, UK citizens moving to Ireland will avail of private healthcare. While basic health is covered by the HSE, other services such as private hospital care or medications may not be included – but they can be easily accessed with a suitable healthcare plan. Purchasing insurance through providers like VHI, Laya Healthcare, Irish Life Health Aviva or HSF is simple using resources from the Health Insurance Authority so that you're never left out-of-pocket for any necessary medical expenses.
Private healthcare facilities provide an essential service to over 400,000 people each year in the form of one-sixth of all hospital beds available nationwide. Patients admitted into public hospitals have a choice as to whether they'd like their treatment spearheaded by a private consultant or rely on publicly funded care – offering them greater flexibility and peace of mind.
GP care in Ireland
GPs are your first point of call for all health needs, from consultations to vaccinations. They can also refer you on to hospital consultants for complex conditions or treatments if the need arises. And don't forget about prescriptions and maternity care.
Looking for a new GP in the area but having difficulty finding an available one? HSE Health Atlas can provide you with insight on which doctors are accessible nearby. If your desired practice is at full capacity, it's best to opt for another option until they open up slots again - then easily transfer over once that occurs!