Sick or injured abroad
If you become ill or need hospital treatment while you’re abroad, you can contact your nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate. We can help you deal with the situation.
What we can do
- We can contact your family, friends or designated emergency contact in Ireland*.
- We can help you to find English-speaking local doctors, medical facilities, air ambulance companies and English-language translators and interpreters.
- We can communicate with medical personnel or hospital authorities. However, we don’t provide medical interpretation or medical translations.
- We can transfer funds from family and friends at home to you, if necessary.
*Data may be shared with the General Register Office in order to establish next of kin information.
What we can’t do
- We can’t pay your hospital bills or other medical expenses.
- We can’t advise you on what medical options you should pursue.
Buying comprehensive travel and medical insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.
Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommends that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
As an Irish resident you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there. Your EHIC is valid for five years, so check that it is still in date, and remember that you need one for every person in your group. The EHIC does not cover repatriation costs and is not a replacement for a travel insurance policy.
Citizens are advised to always read the package leaflet provided with their medicines and to discuss any concerns they may have regarding medicines prescribed or used by them with a healthcare professional, if additional medical treatment is needed.
When travelling abroad, citizens should ensure that they have full details of their regular medications, medical history, allergies and drug sensitivities with them, so they can be discussed with a healthcare professional, if additional medical treatment is needed.
Details of medicines authorised for use in Ireland are available from the HPRA website at www.hpra.ie and the HPRA has issued a number of guidance leaflets for patients and members of the public to support safe and appropriate use, also available on its website.