Planned and necessary treatment within private healthcare in another EU state funded by the HSE. Are you on the waiting list in Ireland and need surgery? You can get private treatment abroad for any medical condition, provided you can pay for it. This could include treatment abroad in a private specialised hospital, by a clinic or state hospital abroad.
HSE in Ireland allows you to travel abroad and apply for a refund after treatment. We always suggest to our clients to get a “letter of guarantee” from HSE if they have at least 4 weeks till treatment abroad. The first step in order to get the guarantee is to fill in the form below.
FAQ: Planned private treatment in Europe funded by the HSE – DIRECTIVE ROUTE (Prior Notification)
Does the pre-approved Directive route cover private clinics?
Yes, the directive route dose covers private clinics/hospitals abroad. You can apply for prior approval from HSE before you travel abroad in order to guarantee your refund. If you are planning to receive paid healthcare abroad in a private clinic/hospital. With the Directive pre-approved route, you can guarantee a refund and jump the HSE waiting list.
What treatments you can receive with the Directive route pre-approval?
You can apply and receive permission to receive planned healthcare abroad in a private clinic/hospital. If you are entitled to public health services by HSE in the Republic of Ireland you are on the waiting list or waiting for specialist consultation, you may choose to buy those medical services in another member state of the European Union (EU). You will have to pay upfront and will be repaid the cost by the HSE. Still, this route gives you a guaranteed option to get HSE treatment sooner. This is provided for by the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive (EU Directive 2011/24/EU, pdf).
The EU cross-border directive covers all healthcare provided or prescribed. The Directive route covers the same or equivalent healthcare that would be available for you in the same situation in the Republic of Ireland. That means if you would have access to medical treatment In Dublin, you can access it in Rome. The EU cross-border directive also covers medicine prescriptions and medical devices.
Are there exemptions when I can get a refund?
In some situations, the HSE could insist that you had undergone the same steps if you would receive treatment in Ireland. It means HSE has a right to refuse a refund if you had surgery without having prior consultation. HSE can refuse prior notification approval if treatment will be provided in Ireland within a reasonable period of time.
Without applying with a prior approval form you will not know if you can get it. In many cases, HSE will pay you up to 100% of your medical expenses abroad.
Will HSE pay upfront for my treatment abroad in a private clinic?
No, if you chose to go to a private clinic abroad using the HSE Directive pre-approval route you will have to pay all expenses from your pocket. Only once you returned to Ireland HSE will refund your medical expenses up to the amount approved. HSE will refund only medical expenses, flights and accommodations are non-refundable.
When I will be refunded?
HSE will refund your medical expense only when you will return back to Ireland, you will have to submit medical documents, proofs of payment and some additional documents. If You have already received planned treatment abroad and would like to make a claim please fill in our post-treatment refund application form.
A refund for medical treatment in a private clinic abroad is possible!