If I use A & E will I be charged?

If you use accident and emergency services without being referred there by a GP, there is a charge of €100. There is no charge if you are referred by a GP (bring your referral letter with you) or for certain groups listed below. The charge applies to the following public facilities:

  • Emergency departments
  • Accident and emergency departments
  • Casualty departments
  • Minor injury units
  • Urgent care centres
  • Local injury units
  • Any other facility providing similar services

The charge of €100 does not apply to the following groups:

  • Medical card holders
  • People who are admitted to hospital as an in-patient as a result of attending the casualty department (you will then be subject to in-patient charges)
  • People receiving treatment for prescribed infectious diseases
  • Children up to 6 weeks of age
  • Children, in respect of the following diseases and disabilities: “mental handicap, mental illness, phenylketonuria, cystic fibrosis, spina bifida, hydrocephalus, haemophilia and cerebral palsy”
  • Children referred for treatment from child health clinics and school health examinations
  • People who are entitled to hospital services because of EU Regulations
  • Women receiving maternity services
  • People with Hepatitis C who have a Health Amendment Act Card

The charge applies to the first visit in relation to an illness or accident. If you have to return for further visits to an out-patient clinic in relation to the same illness or accident, you should not have to pay the charge again.

You can be referred by your family doctor to the out-patients department of a public hospital for specialist assessment by a consultant or his or her team or for diagnostic assessments (for example, x-rays, laboratory tests, physiotherapy). If you attend this service as a public patient, you will not have to pay for this service. If you wish to attend a consultant in a private capacity, you must pay their fee (Unless you are referred directly by A D Doc GP and have already paid D doc for the consultation).