Treatment Abroad Scheme
How does the Treatment Abroad Scheme work?
If you are a public healthcare patient and require treatment that is not available to you in Ireland, you may be able to apply for the Treatment Abroad Scheme (TAS). This allows you to get the medical treatment in another country in the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (the EEA also includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or in Switzerland.
Before you travel for your treatment, the HSE must assess and approve your application.
If the treatment is available in Ireland you can access it abroad using the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive.
How to qualify for the Treatment Abroad Scheme
You must be ordinarily resident in Ireland to qualify for the Treatment Abroad Scheme. This means you live in Ireland and intend to live here for at least one year.
The medical treatment you need must be either:
- Not available in Ireland or
- Not available within the time normally necessary to get it in Ireland, taking into account your current health and the likely course of your condition or disease
You cannot refer yourself for TAS. Only a public hospital consultant based in Ireland can refer you for treatment abroad. A GP cannot refer you for this scheme.
How to apply for the Treatment Abroad Scheme
You, and your referring consultant, must complete an E112 application form (pdf).
You must send this to the HSE TAS office with a copy of your referral letter from your consultant when applying.
You should apply early, as you will have to wait for the HSE to approve your treatment abroad before you travel.
In the E112 form, your consultant must confirm that:
- They are the consultant that is currently treating you.
- They assessed you within a 2-week period before making an application to the HSE.
- The application is based on their own medical opinion. A consultant cannot fill in a form at the request of another person.
The E112 form will ask your consultant to confirm that the treatment abroad is:
- Medically necessary and will meet your needs
- Recognised by Irish law (unproven, experimental or test treatments are not covered)
- Available abroad in a public healthcare setting run by a registered medical practitioner
- Performed in a recognised hospital or other institution that accepts the E112 form
When will I get a decision on my application for TAS?
You will get a decision on your application by letter, usually within 15 to 20 working days.
What happens after my TAS application is approved?
If your application is approved, this means the HSE will pay for some or all of the cost of the treatment abroad. The HSE will issue you an approval letter that tells you what to do next.
Your application must be approved by the HSE before you travel or start treatment abroad. You must give the HSE information about every appointment that you are due to attend.
What if my TAS application is declined?
If the HSE declines your TAS application, you will be told the reasons and given information on how to appeal the decision.
Costs covered by the Treatment Abroad Scheme
The amount that the HSE can cover can be different depending on the country where you get treatment and the treatment that you need. You can ask the hospital abroad how much you will need to pay.
You must provide confirmation of every appointment you are due to attend so that the Health Service Executive (HSE) can approve your E112 form to cover the cost of your visit. If you do not have the document at your appointment, you may be charged and not be refunded by the HSE TAS office.
If you get additional healthcare treatments, associated examinations or consultations, while you are abroad that have not been pre-approved by the HSE TAS office, these will not be covered by the scheme.
If you don’t bring your approved E112 form to your appointment abroad, you might have to pay for your hospital visit. In this case, these costs will not be refunded by HSE TAS office.
You may be able to get the Treatment Abroad Scheme to pay for some of the fares for air or sea travel for you and a travelling companion. For more information, see the Treatment Abroad Scheme policy on travel expenses (pdf).
If you are a private patient, you cannot be referred for the scheme by a private hospital consultant.
You should apply to your private health insurance provider to fund the treatment abroad. If your private health insurance provider declines your application and you have been refused on appeal, you can then apply to the Treatment Abroad Scheme.
When applying for TAS as a private patient you need to show your:
- Declined application from your insurance provider
- Documents to show you have tried to appeal the insurance providers decision