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Medical, Dental, and Cosmetic Procedures

Irish citizens travel abroad each year for the purpose of medical services, including surgical, dental and cosmetic procedures. Travellers should be aware that all surgery contains an element of risk.

Risks vary depending on the country visited and the procedure performed. The Department of Foreign Affairs is aware of citizens who have experienced complications in the course of medical treatment abroad recently, and a number have died.

Irish citizens considering medical treatment abroad are advised to carry out independent research regarding the credentials of any potential service provider and to ensure that the facility is accredited with the appropriate authorities in that country. People should also find out what legal actions may be taken in the event that something goes wrong.

It is essential that appropriate travel insurance is in place. European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are not valid outside the EU.

Individuals should seek to inform themselves of both the risks and benefits of any procedures, and are advised to discuss their plans carefully with their own doctor, dentist and/or hospital specialist before committing to any procedure abroad.

Individuals should also familiarise themselves with any follow-up treatment or process that may be required. It is advisable to   request a discharge summary in English from the treating doctor, dentist and/or hospital specialist. Some airlines may request a Fit to Fly certificate on boarding and this should also be sought before discharge.

Individuals should be aware that they may encounter communication difficulties in a non-English speaking environment. The Department of Foreign Affairs cannot provide financial or legal assistance to individuals who experience difficulty following medical, dental or cosmetic treatment abroad.