Health and Safety Links:
Safety Handbook: Ireland
Safety Handbook: United Kingdom
International Travel Safety Information for Students
Article: Health and Safety Issues in Study Abroad (NAFSA: Association of International Educators)
Driving customs vary a great deal, and pedestrians are frequently not given the right of way. Find out which roads are safest
and whether it is safe to travel on overnight trains and buses. Inquire about the safety record of various modes of transportation.
Avoid renting a car unless you feel very comfortable with the driving habits of the locals. For more information on international
road travel contact:
Association for Safe International Road Travel
5413 West Cedar Lane
Bethesda, MD 20814
Tel: (301) 983-5252
Fax: (301) 983-3663
U.S. Department of State Sites:
Traveling Abroad Website
Americans Traveling Abroad
Living Abroad Tips
Where to get Medical Advice and Help:
At some stage during your stay in Ireland, you may become ill. In this event, the following information might prove
useful for basic advice and regulations governing access to publicly-funded health services. The Irish government's
Department of Health and Children's website, www.doh.ie, has useful information on its activities. Health and personal
social services are administered through eight health boards. These are regional authorities that administer central
government spending on health and social services in their respective areas. More detailed information can be obtained
from the individual health boards' sites (see below).
Emergency Treatment for illness and injury:
Emergency treatment is provided at general practitioner (GP) surgeries and at the accident and emergency (A & E)
departments of hospitals.
Campus Health Services:
The major universities and institutes of technology have medical centres on campus, or
arrangements with GPs based nearby. All registered students may use the health service provided by their institution,
which offer generally free or subsidised consultations with a doctor and a nurse. You will have to pay for prescribed
Health Centres for Women and Men:
As with most European countries, Ireland has health centres which cater specifically for women's health. There is also
one men's health centre in Dublin.
Chemists stock a wide range of non-prescription medicines and the chemist can advise you on which is the most suitable
for your complaint or on whether or not you need to consult a doctor.
Food Safety and Health:
Good health is complemented by good hygiene practices. Food safety and hygiene have become very important issues in
recent times. In addition, to your regular kitchen hygiene routine, cleanliness in food preparation must also be
considered, especially with perishable foods such as meat.
There are two sources of advice for food safety and hygiene in the home. The Department of Health and Children
(www.doh.ie) on food safety contains useful information on hygiene in the kitchen and
some relevant links. A more comprehensive website is that of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland
(www.fsai.ie) dealing with both consumer and retail aspects of health and hygiene
with regard to food.
Source: International Education Board Ireland
Regulations Governing the Use of Irish Health Services:
Medical Service Regulations for EU / EEA students:
Under EU / EEA regulations students from other member states who are attending a course of study are entitled to
medical services in Ireland. In order to be eligible for any of these services, you will be required to provide the
Irish health authorities with documentation from your home country that validates your entitlement. You should
therefore contact the Health Authority in your home country, well in advance of travelling to Ireland, to fulfil any
registration requirements and to obtain the necessary forms that you will need.
(Please note that you will normally have to pay for all optical and dental services in Ireland. With regard to
hospital services, if you have not obtained the necessary documentation entitling you to free or minimum-cost
services, costs can be as much as € 380 per day.)
Medical Service Regulations for non-EU / non-EEA students:
Your eligibility for public health services depends on your country of origin, the duration of your stay in Ireland
and your financial situation.
With regard to hospitalisation for non-EU / non-EEA students. If you are undertaking a full time course of study for
at least one year, you are classed as "ordinarily resident" in Ireland, and are then entitled to public patient
facilities on the same basis as an EU / EEA national. To make further enquiries, go to
Health Board websites:
You may wish to visit the website for the appropriate health board / authority
Eastern Regional Health Authority
North Western Health Board
North Eastern Health Board
South Eastern Health Board
Mid-Western Health Board
Southern Health Board
Midland Health Board
Western Health Board
Note: The Eastern Regional Health Authority consists of three health board areas; the east coast area health board,
the northern area health board, and; the south western area health board. More details are available from its website.
Private Medical and Health Insurance:
If you are attending a course of study for a period of less than one academic year and are not "ordinarily resident",
private medical insurance is essential.
If you are "ordinarily resident" in Ireland and therefore have access to public health facilities, you may want to
consider private medical insurance to complement your entitlements. Depending on the scheme subscribed to, you would
gain entitlements, for example, to a private room, a broader range of consultants and a larger variety of hospitals.
If you have an existing health insurance policy in your home country, you may want to make enquiries about the
possibility of extending the policy to cover your period of study in Ireland. It is advisable that you do this well in
advance of travel.
The following companies offer private health insurance in Ireland and you may wish to enquire about their policies:
Voluntary Health Insurance (VHI)
Lower Abbey Street
Telephone: +353-1-8724499 / 1850 444 444
12 Fitzwilliam Square
Locall - 1890 700890
Note: There is often a 26 week delay period before a policy comes into effect. However, you are covered for accidents
and injuries during this time. You should contact the International Office at your university/institute of technology
to ask about medical insurance packages that may be on offer.
Source: International Education Board Ireland