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The Republic of Ireland, guided by the Health Act 2004, has a two-tier healthcare system, consisting of the public and private sectors. Health Act 2004, which took effect on, January 1, 2005 mandated a new body which was to be responsible for providing both health and personal social services to everyone living in Ireland.

All residents of Ireland have the right to get health care via the public healthcare system, which is funded by general taxation and managed by the Health Service Executive. Anyone who moves to Ireland to live for a minimum of one year is considered an "ordinary resident" and you are entitled to the same healthcare services as any Irish citizen. When the HSE determines whether or not a person is an ordinary resident, he or she may be asked to see a visa or work permit, a residence permit, a statement from an employer, proof of address and proof of the purchase or rental of a home, evidence of bank accounts, transfers of funds, or other bank documents. The person seeking the designation of ordinary citizen will also be asked to sign a sworn statement.

In some cases, patient may have to pay a subsidized fee for his or her healthcare, depending upon the patient's age, illness, disability, and/or income. There are exceptions. For example, All maternity care and infant health care is 100% free of charge until the child is six months old. Trips to the Accident and Emergency Department for actual emergencies cost £100.

Irish residents who are low income earners, receive welfare payments, or other cases on aa case-by-case basis, are issued a Medical Card, which allows free hospital care, general practitioner visits, optical, aural, and dental services, medical appliances, and prescription medications if. Anyone who has thalidomide syndrome, surgical symphysiotomy, and all children who have cancer are treated free of charge.

Private health insurance is available to anyone who wishes to use it. Many people do avail themselves of private healthcare insurance as it has the advantage of allowing patients to avoid the long wait times for medical service.

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