Reciprocal Health Agreement Between UK and Ireland: What You Need to Know
The United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland have a reciprocal health agreement that allows citizens of both countries to receive necessary medical treatment while visiting the other country. This agreement has been in place since 1971 and has provided peace of mind for many travelers who might not have had access to affordable healthcare otherwise.
The agreement covers any necessary medical treatment that cannot wait until the person returns to their home country. This includes emergency treatment as well as treatment for pre-existing medical conditions that require ongoing care. However, the agreement does not cover elective treatments or treatments that are not medically necessary.
To take advantage of the reciprocal health agreement, UK citizens traveling to Ireland should bring their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with them. This card provides access to state-provided healthcare in all EU countries, including Ireland. Irish citizens traveling to the UK should bring their Irish passport or a European Health Insurance Card.
It is important to note that while the reciprocal health agreement covers necessary medical treatment, it does not cover the cost of repatriation should the person need to be transported back to their home country for ongoing care. It is therefore recommended that all travelers purchase travel insurance to cover these costs.
In addition, the reciprocal health agreement does not cover the cost of medications or medical devices, so travelers should also bring any necessary medications with them or make arrangements to obtain them while abroad.
Overall, the reciprocal health agreement between the UK and Ireland provides a valuable safety net for travelers who need medical treatment while abroad. However, it is important for travelers to be aware of the limitations of the agreement and to take steps to ensure they have adequate insurance coverage for all eventualities.