What is healthcare in Ireland like?

Facilities and Health Information

Modern medical facilities and highly skilled medical practitioners are available in Ireland, but due to high demand, access to medical specialists and admissions to hospitals for certain non-life-threatening medical conditions may result in extensive waiting lists. It is not unusual for emergency room (ER) services to be very busy or for post-treatment admissions to include a long wait (sometimes overnight) on a gurney in a hallway rather than in a shared or private room.

Over-the-counter medications of most types are available, but many U.S. brands are not. (Ask the pharmacist about substitutes.) Some medications available over the counter in the United States may require a prescription in Ireland. Irish pharmacists may not be able to dispense medication prescribed by U.S. physicians and may direct you to obtain a prescription from an Irish doctor before providing your required medication.

If you are traveling to Ireland and may require medical treatment while in the country, consult your personal physician prior to traveling. A list of Irish general practitioners in each area of Ireland may be obtained from the website of the Irish College of General Practitioners. Emergency services usually respond quickly.

Drinking Water Source - % of rural population improved


Drinking Water Source - % of total population unimproved


Drinking Water Source - % of urban population improved

improved: urban: 97% of population

rural: 98.1% of population

total: 97.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 3% of population

rural: 1.9% of population

total: 2.6% of population

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate


Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population


People Living with HIV/AIDS


Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population


Sanitation Facility Access - % of total population unimproved


Sanitation Facility Access - % of urban population improved

improved: urban: 97.8% of population

rural: 99.1% of population

total: 98.3% of population

unimproved: urban: 2.2% of population

rural: 0.9% of population

total: 1.7% of population

Sanitation Facility Access - % of rural population improved


Disability Access In Ireland


While in Ireland, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. Irish law requires access to public buildings for persons with disabilities, and this requirement is enforced. Under Irish law, public service providers should ensure the service is accessible to those with mobility, sensory, and/or cognitive impairments. Significant changes have been made in recent years to having an accessible public transportation system. People who live in Ireland and meet the medical conditions of a disability allowance may apply for free travel passes; there is also a blind/invalidity pension from the Irish Department of Social Protection for those who qualify. The majority of buses and trains in the main city areas of Ireland are now equipped for those with limited-mobility, sight, or hearing disabilities, although some train stations and pathways may not be as easily accessible. Local authorities and commercial premises such as shopping outlets have no legal obligation to provide external disabled parking facilities for their customers; however, on-street parking, public building parking lots, and internal parking lots always have a certain number of disabled spaces available.

Mainline and suburban trains require special portable ramps to permit boarding from the platforms to the carriages. These are available at all terminal points and major junctions and stations that have staff on duty. They are also available on some trains. Travelers are advised to contact the local railway station in advance to ensure such facilities are available. The website for Dublin Bus provides information on its travel assistance scheme. Regional and intercity bus services are provided by Bus Eireann.

All service providers at state airports are required to have specific facilities for air travelers with disabilities. Air travelers are advised to notify the airline/airport authority in advance if they require any specific facilities.

There are many resources available online for those with mobility, sensory and cognitive impairments traveling to, or living in Ireland. You may contact our consular office by email at acsdublin@state.gov for further information on this topic.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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