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The Health System in Ireland

Healthcare in Ireland is a comprehensive system with a taxation funded health service and an ever-expanding private system. Residents living in Ireland for at least one year are entitled to receive care through the public healthcare system managed by the Health Service Executive (HSE). Ireland spends 9.9% of its GDP, which is in line with the European average. Low earners are entitled to a Medical Card, which gives them access to free healthcare and prescriptions, but most people will be required to pay fees for certain health care services. GP visits, ambulances and overnight hospital stays are services incurring charges. You also need to pay the cost for any medications your doctor may prescribe. Government funding mostly covers the costs of diagnostic tests and treatments in hospital. All maternity services and children’s health up to six years are free of charge. 50% of residents have private health insurance in Ireland.

Primary Care

Health centres run by the HSE provide primary care in Ireland. Clinic services include GP, district nurses, social work and child protection, children’s health, community welfare, disability services, elderly care, chiropody, ophthalmic, speech therapy, addiction counselling, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and psychologists. The HSE provides these services for free, or at a subsidised rate. Most GPs offer house visits and out-of-hours GP services are available in all parts of the country. GPs charge a consultation fee, approximately €60. 60% of the population must pay upfront in cash. Some private health insurance plans cover these costs. You can choose your GP, and the HSE has a GP finder tool. It is a good idea to find a GP who is right for you. It's normal to meet a doctor in person before registering. If you need to see a consultant, you will need a referral from your GP.


45 hospitals in Ireland are operated directly by the HSE, some function as teaching hospitals, which may have a religious philosophy. There are also 19 private hospitals. Hospitals in Ireland generally offer a full range of healthcare, including emergency services, although if you choose a private hospital, you should expect to incur additional costs. Public hospitals are overstretched, and many patients experience long waiting times. Never miss an appointment because this may result in you going to the back of the queue. The government is trying to reduce these times, but there are limitations of finance and staff expertise. For this reason, many people opt for private health insurance to avoid waiting for consultations and surgery. Private hospitals tend to be more modern and higher tech. Many companies offer their employees discounted private healthcare insurance through a group scheme and families can get a discount.

Dental Prices Ireland           

Many expats working in Ireland are concerned about dental prices in Ireland. There are approximately 2,000 dentists in Ireland. Private, HSE, and hospital dentists. Those on low incomes receive dental treatment free, but most people will have to pay private dental prices in Ireland. The average cost of a dental consultation in Ireland is €45, and teeth cleaning can cost approximately €55. Dental prices in Ireland vary widely across the country. A check-up in a Westport clinic could cost €160, 16 times the price of the cheapest, found in Limerick and costing just €10. It is vital to shop around in the private market to get the best deal. Some private health insurance schemes will cover dental costs and can be worth it if you have ongoing problems. Many expats find that travelling back to their own countries can be more economical than paying high dental prices in Ireland.

Health System Ireland - Mundialz

Mundialz Ireland understands that moving abroad is the challenge of a lifetime. We want to answer all your questions over healthcare, insurance, and immigration. Once you have found your perfect job, we will continue to offer personal support and guidance throughout the whole relocation process.

Begin your international adventure and search jobs in Ireland here.

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