Cross Border Healthcare Directive

Testimonials from patients who received treatment under the Cross Border Healthcare Directive:

 Very, very good. It was quick and I had my operation done in a month. The people at the Cross Border office in the HSE were so helpful and friendly. I had my money refunded in a short space of time. Hopefully you will carry on the good work. Thank youPatient A had hip surgery in Kingsbridge Private Hospital, Belfast

 “I can’t tell you how much I appreciated the help and support you gave me at that time of great darkness in my life.  It has been months since my hip surgery in Paris and my recovery has been amazing.  With the hip pain gone, my life is truly coming back!” Patient B had hip surgery in France

Patients can avoid long waiting lists for treatment in Ireland by availing of treatment abroad under the Cross Border Healthcare Directive (CBD). The HSE will reimburse the cost of the treatment*.

What is the Cross Border Healthcare Directive (CBD)?

The CBD allows for patients ordinarily resident in Ireland who require and are entitled to public healthcare services to be referred to another EU/EEA member state for that care and be reimbursed in accordance with the legislation. Funding will only be reimbursed for healthcare that is publicly funded and available in Ireland and which is not contrary to Irish legislation.

What healthcare is available under the scheme?

Acute/Psychiatric Hospital Services – Day, Inpatient, Outpatient Care.  Community based outpatient care (to include dental, ophthalmic, orthodontics, speech & language, etc.)  The above is based on current services provided by the HSE and excludes long term care e.g. nursing home care.

Who can refer me?

A referral letter from your GP or public consultant is all you need to access healthcare abroad under the Directive. The letter must specify a consultant or a patient who is already on a waiting list may use a copy of the waiting list letter for the HSE and choose a consultant in the EU/EEA himself/herself.

What about my follow up care?

Your follow up care will be provided by your GP or nearest public hospital in the same manner as if you received the treatment in Ireland.

What does it cost?*

Reimbursement will be at the cost of the treatment you availed of abroad or the cost of the healthcare in Ireland, whichever is the lesser. Travel and other costs will be borne by you.

If I have private health insurance does it preclude me from applying?

No. You are still entitled to use the scheme if referred by a GP or public consultant.

How can I apply?

MSC Eurocare can help patients with all logistics. You can contact them on or call
0818 919 321.

You can download an application form from the HSE website.  Application forms are optional and only relevant for day case or inpatient procedures.  Outpatient consultations or services do not require prior authorisation.

How can I find out more?

You will find detailed information about the Cross Border Healthcare Directive on the HSE website.

You can also call the National Contact Point office on 056 778 4547 or 056 778 4546 or 056 778 4556 or by email:

You can contact MSC Eurocare on or call 0818 919 321.

Resources for GPs

Recommended hospitals to refer to –



IMED Hospitals, Spain




Kingsbridge Private Hospital, Belfast






St Joseph’s Hospital, Wales

MSC Eurocare


In order to make the process as simple and easy as possible for GPs and patients, the NAGP’s recommended agency is MSC Eurocare.

MSC Eurocare can help you access healthcare abroad under the Cross Border Healthcare Directive.



e: t: 0818 919 321



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