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Senator says one in three Dubliners don’t have a free European Health Insurance Card

One in three Dublin people don’t have a free European Health Insurance Card, exposing them to costly emergency medical bills abroad.

That’s according to a new survey conducted by Fine Gael Senator, Neale Richmond in advance of the peak holiday season.

The European Health Insurance Card or EHIC, formerly the E111 form, allows the holder to access health care services when travelling in another EU or EEA country.

Senator Richmond said:

“My survey has revealed that over eight out of ten Dublin people have or will travel to another EU country this year, but one in three don’t have a European Health Insurance Card.

“The study carried out in Dublin city centre last week also found that only a fifth of those without the free card know how to obtain one, which is quite worrying.

“I am calling on the HSE to launch an information campaign about this valuable service to ensure the public are aware of it and encourage them to apply for it.

“With the school holidays now in full swing, many families will be setting off on trips abroad.”

Senator Richmond says the EHIC offers peace of mind to any holidaymakers travelling to the EU as it entitles the holder to healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there. One card is needed for each individual or member of the family.

“There is no charge for the EHIC card and it is valid for up to 4 years. If you already have a medical card or a drug payment scheme card, you can apply online through the HSE website.

“If not you can either apply in person by completing an application form at your Local Health Office or apply by post by downloading an application form from the HSE website. Complete the application form and return it by post to your Local Health Office.

“If you are travelling within a short timeframe, you should request a temporary replacement certificate.”