European Health Insurance Card


The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles everyone living in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland to receive healthcare through the public healthcare system, if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there.

Applying for the card is free, and you must apply for one card for each individual member of the family.


Travelling to/from Great Britain or Northern Ireland

Irish residents do not need their EHIC to access healthcare services if they are on a temporary stay in the UK. It is enough to show proof that you are ordinarily resident in Ireland– in practice, this means providing a driving licence, passport or similar documentation. UK citizens are entitled to the same benefits and restrictions while travelling in Ireland.


Accessing Care

If you are visiting Galway, hold a valid EHIC/NHS card and require urgent care for illness or injury please call us on (091) 393 170. You are entitled to free emergency GP care and certain prescribed medicines under either of these schemes.

You will be required to show a valid EHIC/NHS card (or equivalent documentation) at reception to avail of this free service. If you do not have a valid EHIC/NHS card but are covered by another form of medical travel insurance, you will be charged our usual fees. We will provide you with a receipt so you can claim for reimbursement from your insurer as allowed by your insurance policy.


Applying for you EHIC

You can apply for your EHIC online. Please see link in the Useful Links section below.

Apply for the EHIC if you:

  • Plan to go on holiday to another EU/EEA country or Switzerland
  • Regularly visit any of these countries, for example, on business, as a transport worker or for leisure
  • Plan to go to any of these countries to seek work
  • Are being sent by your employer to work in any of these countries temporarily, but will continue to pay tax in Ireland
  • Intend to undertake a course of study in any of these countries, but still consider yourself as ordinarily resident in Ireland
  • Expect to visit any of these countries for any other type of temporary stay where healthcare is not the aim of the visit

Useful Links

HSE - Your Guide to the EHIC

HSE - Apply online for your EHIC

Print and post the completed EHIC Application Form to Galway Local Health Office, Community Services, 25 Newcastle Road, Galway.