Cross Border Healthcare Directive Information
EU Cross Border Healthcare
What Is The Cross Border Healthcare Directive?
The Cross Border Directive (CBD) allows EU residents to access health services in EU member states other than their own.
How Does The Cross Border Healthcare Directive Work?
The Cross-Border Healthcare Directive, operated by the HSE, entitles Irish patients waiting for surgery procedures in the Republic of Ireland to obtain treatment, in either a public or private setting, within Northern Ireland.
If you are entitled to public health services in Ireland and you choose to access those services in Northern Ireland you can be reimbursed by the HSE for the costs incurred. The amount that will be repaid is the amount that the treatment would cost in Ireland, or the cost of your treatment abroad, if that is less.
You must be referred to those services by your GP, treating physician or hospital consultant. Or, in the case of certain community based services by a HSE professional, such as a Public Health Nurse. A referral from a GP or consultant abroad is also acceptable.
If, therefore, you are entitled to attend your local community care service or local hospital you can opt to access the services you need and be treated at the Kingsbridge Private Hospital in Northern Ireland as if it was another community care or another hospital within Ireland.
What Healthcare Treatments Are Covered Under The Scheme?
Your referring clinician will be able to advise if the service you are seeking to access abroad is covered by the provisions of the Cross Border Healthcare scheme.
Treatments covered include current services provided by the HSE that you would access in a hospital or county clinic environment.
Examples of healthcare that is available under the scheme include:
- Day, in-patient and outpatient care in acute hospital services, including MRI and CT scans
- Cardiac services
- Orthopaedic services, including hip and knee surgery
- Ophthalmic services (Eye Tests)
- Physiotherapy services
Some health services are not included, for example, organ transplantation and long-term care such as nursing home care.
How Do I Apply For Cross Border Treatment?
It’s easy to apply for treatment under the Cross Border Healthcare Directive.
To use health services in another country and be refunded under the EU Healthcare Directive you must:
- Be referred to the health service abroad
- Get prior authorisation if it is required for your treatment
- Apply for a refund of your costs
For further details, phone 048 9066 7878 to speak to our One2One Patient Advisor, at Belfast’s Kingsbridge Private Hospital, part of 3fivetwo Group, Northern Ireland’s largest provider of private healthcare.
Our healthcare team will guide you through the simple steps involved to start the process to get you treated quickly and conveniently at our Belfast hospital.
Outpatient and Day Care Applicants
There is no application process for outpatient or day case care. Once you have a referral from a GP or treating consultant in Ireland you may proceed with your outpatient appointment. A referral from a GP or a consultant abroad is also acceptable.
Following the appointment you then submit the necessary receipts to the HSE for reimbursement. Information regarding reimbursement rates prior to your appointment are available by contacting the CBD office.
If the treatment involves an overnight stay in hospital then it will need to be authorised in advance by the HSE.
Prior authorisation can be obtained following the submission of completed application form, accompanied by the appropriate clinician referring letter, in sufficient time to allow the HSE to assess and make a decision.
The application form for prior authorisation should be completed by you, the patient, and by the medical professional who is referring you for treatment abroad.
How Long Does The Decision Process Take?
A decision typically takes between 15 and 20 working days following the receipt of a completed application form.
Information For Referring GPs And Clinicians
Should you wish to refer a patient to the Kingsbridge Private Hospital for services provided under the EU Cross Border Healthcare Directive please complete our Patient Referral Form.
TESTIMONIALS FROM PATIENTS THAT HAVE AVAILED OF THE EU CROSS BORDER HEALTHCARE DIRECTIVE AT KINGSBRIDGE PRIVATE HOSPITAL
Ms McLoughlin from Co Dublin had hip surgery
I thought about want I wanted to write for a few days because it is important to me that I do justice to my visit and subsequent stay at Kingsbridge Hospital. From making my initial enquiry through to surgery and aftercare I experienced kindness, professionalism, encouragement, attention to detail. Every single member of staff was excellent, I have never felt so well cared for and in such luxurious surroundings. The food was amazing! Kingsbridge radiates excellence in care from phone call to aftercare. Thank-you.
Ms Lennon Sheils from Dublin had Hip Surgery
“Please do not remain in pain. If it’s not for yourself, maybe it's a relative or friend, maybe a neighbour you see struggling every day, whoever it may be, please tell them about the CROSS BORDER TREATMENT. Yes, you need the money up front, but the wonderful thing about this EU Directive is that HSE will reimburse most of the monies, leaving you with only the shortfall to cover. DON'T REMAIN IN PAIN! Make that call to Patrice or Joanna and get your life back!
Mr McGarrell from Cavan had Hip Surgery
“I couldn’t speak highly enough about this excellent facility. I had the procedure done under the Cross border initiative. This initiative is a no brainer as you are reimbursed almost totally by HSE. You do have to put the money for the op up front and that may be an issue but if you can raise it in some way then don’t suffer any longer my reason for bringing this to attention is that it is not advertised and that is a shame, Kingsbridge private hospital will bring you through the entire process.
Ms Brennan from Co. Monaghan had Cataract surgery
“My eye sight deteriorated rapidly so I called Kingsbridge Private Hospital they were able to guide me through the whole process from beginning to end. My appointment was booked for the following week and I had surgery on both eyes a month later and I couldn’t be happier.
Thank-you to all the staff at Kingsbridge Private Hospital. I would also like to say a huge thank-you to my Consultant and that my eyesight now is wonderful".
Ms O’Driscoll from Co Cork had Hip Surgery.
Excellent Care, friendly caring staff, good facilities. The Cross Border Directive was quick, efficient, easy to navigate and staff were lovely to deal with.
Mr Ryan from Co Leitrim had Knee Surgery
Good experience, good hospital, good staff!
Ms Corcoran from Co Kildare had Hip Surgery
I was delighted with my experience, very quick and easy to work with both sides (Kingsbridge Hospital & HSE) Happy with everything. Thank-you.
Mr Kavanagh from Co Carlow had Hip Surgery
From the moment I attended the clinic to my operation I got 5-star treatment in every way. I have, and I will continue to recommend Kingsbridge Private Hospital and the Cross Border Directive.
Ms Moyles from Co Meath had Cataract Surgery
If it were not for Kingsbridge Hospital and the treatment received from my consultant and his team, I would to this day be unable to drive in the evening. Thanks to the fabulous people who looked after me.
Ms McDonagh from Co Kildare had hip surgery
Very, very good. It was quick and I had my operation done in a month. The people at the Cross Border office in the HSE were so helpful and friendly. I had my money refunded in a short space of time. Hopefully you will carry on the good work. Thank-you
Mr Sheridan from Co Dublin had hip surgery
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Kingsbridge Hospital. The Care and the attention was above expectations. All the staff were very friendly and courteous. The meals from the kitchen were excellent.
Ms Butler from Co Dublin had cataracts
Positive thanks to Kingsbridge administration team, they helped with all forms and guided me through every step of the way and met me at my appointment. Nothing was too much for them, can’t thank you enough.
Ms Kenny from Co Longford had knee surgery
My experience of attending Kingsbridge hospital was really fantastic. My operation went really well and I am now free from pain. Doctors, nurses and staff were really kind and professional, I could not give them enough praise. I can now plan on going on a holiday with my family and not being a burden on them having to link me around and I can leave the walking stick at home. Thanks be to god and to the Doctors and staff at Kingsbridge Hospital.
Mr Donnelly from Co Louth had back surgery
Kingsbridge were very helpful and guided me through the process and paper work. The procedure I had worked 100% and the care I got from all the doctors and nurses was first class.
Mr Nolan from Co Dublin had hip surgery
Excellent! Words do not describe my stay. Kingsbridge hospital, a truly 5* experience.
Thomas Coyle from Co Dublin had hip surgery
Initially it was a little daunting trying to figure out how the Cross Border Directive worked, but your admin dept. was very helpful and made the process so much simpler. All staff were helpful and courteous, the room was very clean with lots of privacy and all mod cons. The food was excellent and nothing was too much trouble. My consultant had a very pleasant manner and completely put me at ease, I have already recommended Kingsbridge Hospital and the Cross Border to several people including my own GP.
Call Today To Talk to Our Patient Advisor
If you also want to end your waiting list delays by obtaining premium levels of treatment within our superb private healthcare facilities, please contact our One2One Patient Advisor.
Call and speak with us about the available options on 048 9066 7878 from a Republic of Ireland landline telephone or +44 (0)289066 7878 from a Republic of Ireland mobile telephone. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request further information on cross border treatment options.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the EU Directive?
EU legislation means that you have the right to receive medical treatment in another EU member state and skip the HSE waiting list. The HSE will pay the bill.
What does this new legislation cover?
Most treatments, except organ transplants. It covers hips, knees and heart operations and diagnostic scans. It also includes psychiatric and addiction treatment.
Does the Cross-Border Directive have any connection to the E111 or Treatment Abroad scheme?
No this is completely different from the E111 form that covers EU citizens who fall ill when aboard. The Treatment Abroad scheme also differs as in it only covers treatments that are not available in Ireland.
The EU Cross Border Directive covers patients who need planned procedures and who are on a waiting list for an Irish hospital.
When did this come about?
The Directive was fully introduced in February 2015.
How long do I need to be on the waiting list for?
You don’t even need to be on a waiting list. Your GP can refer you directly for treatment.
Will the HSE therefore pay the cost for my treatment in a private hospital abroad?
Yes they will.
This sounds too good to be true?
It may do, but thousands of patients have already availed of this. The Department of Health and the HSE have publicly confirmed that the legislation is in place.
Does the HSE really have to pay for this?
Yes, though payment is needed up front. The HSE will then reimburse you when you have provided proof of your treatment. Note though that the HSE will only pay the cost of that treatment in Ireland or the cost of it abroad – whichever is lesser.
How will I know how much the operations cost?
The HSE can help you find out about this. Simply contact them. Details are below. Or you can call us and we will be able to answer any questions you might have.
Can a private hospital overseas really be cheaper than having the treatment in Ireland?
Yes. Treatment in Ireland is expensive and lots of people have travelled to Belfast to avail of cheaper healthcare costs.
Will I have to wait long on the HSE reimbursing me?
You might have to wait a few weeks however credit unions in Ireland are now providing medical loans to enable more patients to avail of the scheme.
What about travel costs?
You must pay for your own travel costs.
Why have I not heard of this before?
Many GPs have not taken the time to investigate this option for their patients.
What about follow up care?
You will be entitled to follow up care such as physiotherapy also.
Do I need prior authorisation from the HSE before I travel?
Prior authorisation is not necessarily needed and our One2One team at Kingsbridge Private Hospital will guide you through the application process. We will fill in the paperwork for you!
To find out more contact us today on 028 90 667 878. Alternatively you can find out more by contacting the HSE’s National Contact Point, Cross Border Healthcare Directive Department on 056 778 4546 or email email@example.com.