BREXIT – Currently your rights and entitlements as EU citizens continue unchanged.
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FAQs: Healthcare

Q1:  Following surgery and early retirement I moved from Derry to Donegal but I have continued to attend Derry Hospital for check ups.  Is this OK given my southern residency?

A:  Retired cross border workers who live in the South are no longer entitled to NHS healthcare when they cease working in Northern Ireland. However, there is one important exemption to note:

Under Article 28 of EU regulation 883/2004  cross border workers who retire due to “old age or invalidity” are entitled to access continuing treatment for a condition for which they are already receiving services in Northern Ireland. Continuation of treatment is defined as “the continued investigation, diagnosis and treatment of an illness”.  However, retired cross border workers must access all other health services in the Republic of Ireland, it is only the continued treatment of a condition which can be provided for free in Northern Ireland.

It is very important to clarify your situation with your GP and local Health Trust prior to retiring or moving across the border.

For further information please visit EU Coordination of social security systems – Regulation (EC) No 883/2004

Q2:  As a resident of NI when I take up residence in a specific town I can register with the GP practice of the local area.  Is this the same in Ireland ie if I live in a town/townland of Co Monaghan can I register with the local GP?  Also if I am working in NI and live in townland of Co Monaghan are there National Insurance stamps/payments ie healthcare card to pay for my healthcare in Ireland

A: As a cross border worker you are entitled medical cards both in the North and the South.

This means that you can access NHS healthcare in Northern Ireland e.g. free GP visits and prescriptions and subsidised dental care etc, and you are also automatically entitled to a medical card in the South. This may also apply to your spouse and any children, provided you both have no other income sourced in Ireland, do not pay PRSI and do not claim any social welfare benefits.

Q3:  I work in Belfast and my wife works in Omagh and we recently moved to live in Aughnacloy.  The reason I am contacting you is to ask if we were to live across the border in the south could we still go to a GP practice in the Aughnacloy (in the north)?

A:  As a cross border workers you are both entitled to access the NHS in the same way including GP services.  Provided you both have no other income sourced in Ireland you are also entitled to Irish Medical Cards which would enable you, and any dependent children, to access free public healthcare in the south

Q4:  I am a Frontier worker; I live in Ireland and work in Northern Ireland.  I have been told that I can obtain a medical card in Ireland without having to undergo the means test.  Is this correct?

A:  Under European Union Regulations, Medical Cards are granted to Frontier Workers regardless of their means.

Whilst there is no means test as such, Health Boards are entitled to ask for any relevant information necessary to establish that an application falls within the provisions of EU Regulations.

A Medical Card normally covers the applicant’s spouse and dependants. However, if a spouse is receiving a Social Welfare Pension (no matter how small), or is employed or self-employed in Ireland, then s/he would fall under Legislation in Ireland and would be means-tested in the normal way.

Q5:  I live in Northern Ireland and I have had diabetes for over 9 years, if I move to Monaghan will I be entitled to regular free medical check-ups (optician, dentist)?

A:  If you are a Frontier Worker, living in Monaghan and working in Northern Ireland you will continue to have access to the NHS in the North. You will also be eligible for a Medical Card in the South.

If you move across the border and do not work in Northern Ireland you will no longer have access to the NHS, however you are entitled to apply for a, mean tested, Medical Card in the South.

You may also be eligible for the Long Term Illness Scheme, which provides free drugs, medicines and medical and surgical appliances for the treatment of some long term conditions. You should contact the HSE for further information.

Q6:  I reside in ROI and am working in NI.  Am I and my family entitled to free medical/dental care in NI.

A: As a cross border worker you are entitled to NHS healthcare which includes free GP treatment. Dental treatment is subsidised and generally not free.

That right does not extend to your family.  However as a cross-border or frontier worker resident in the Republic you are also entitled to an Irish medical card from the Health Service Executive in ROI.  This entitles you to free public healthcare in ROI.  This may also apply to your spouse and any children, provided you both have no other income sourced in Ireland, do not pay PRSI and do not claim any social welfare benefits.