Dublin in detail

Health & insurance

Before You Go

Health Insurance

EU citizens equipped with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), available from health centres or, in the UK, post offices, will be covered for most medical care – but not non-emergencies or emergency repatriation. While other countries, such as Australia, also have reciprocal agreements with Ireland, many do not.

In Dublin

Tap Water

Don't bother with bottled water in restaurants; Dublin's tap water is perfectly safe, free and generally excellent.

Medical Services


Dental care is a costly business in Dublin. Unless you have a medical card (only available to registered residents), you can expect to pay from €85 for a basic check, and about €100 for a cleaning and €120 for a filling appointment.


If you don’t have a medical card, you’ll have to pay for all visits to a doctor. Charges begin at €50 for even a cursory examination. You can request a doctor to visit your accommodation at any time with the private service Doctor on Duty.

The Health Service Executive has a Choice of Doctor Scheme, which can advise you on a suitable general practitioner (GP) from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. The HSE also provides information services for those with physical and mental disabilities.

Your hotel or embassy can also suggest a doctor, but the Grafton Medical Centre is also a good clinic. If you need a doctor after 6pm or at weekends, Caredoc is an excellent service that will provide a doctor, usually within an hour.


EU citizens are encouraged to obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before they leave home, which will cover hospital costs should they require hospitalisation. This card provides cover for a year and is easily obtained from a local health authority or, in the UK, post offices. The main Dublin city-centre hospitals are the following:

Mater Misericordiae Hospital

St James's Hospital


For minor, self-limiting illnesses, pharmacists can give valuable advice and sell over-the-counter medication. They can also advise when more specialised help is required and point you in the right direction.

All pharmacies in Dublin are clearly designated by a green cross. There are branches of the English chain pharmacy, Boots, spread throughout the city centre. Most pharmacies are open until 7pm or 8pm, but the City, Hickey's and O'Connell's pharmacies in the city centre stay open until 10pm.