Cross Border Healthcare Directive

In October 2013, the European Directive on the application of patients’ rights, commonly referred to as the Cross Border Directive (CBD), became fully effective across the European Union (EU). The CBD clarifies the rights of all European Union (EU) citizens to seek access to healthcare including mental healthcare, in other EU member states.

It also specifies the need for a framework through which citizens can obtain this access. Under the CBD, persons resident in other EU member states are eligible for access to Irish health services (public or private) once approved by their own state.

How to Access Mental Healthcare at SPMHS under the CBD?

St Patrick's is the largest and leading independent non-for-profit mental health service provider in Ireland and is affiliated with the Independent Hospital Association of Ireland. The Organisation strives to provide the highest quality mental healthcare to as many people experiencing mental health difficulties as possible.

SPMHS is fully compliant with all regulatory standards and has been commended by the Mental Health Commission of Ireland for the quality of the services it delivers. Details about the range of our services are available on our website through this link.

St Patrick's operates the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive (CBD) for persons from other states seeking to avail of mental healthcare in Ireland. The administrative procedure for approving access to mental healthcare at SPMHS differs from country to country. Services available under the CBD are determined by governing legislation in the applicant's member state of residence.

For this reason, we advise any person from another EU member State to clarify their entitlement to reimbursement for treatment via their 'National Contact Point' in their home country before making any travel or payment arrangements for treatment at our organisation.

For your convenience, we have provided the links to all European States 'National Contact Points' below.

It will be a matter for you and your referring health provider to agree that St Patrick's is the appropriate mental health provider to meet your needs. This decision is based on the assured professional qualifications of our clinicians, the quality of our care and treatment and safety of our services.

The CBD requires the costs to be borne by the individual and he/she then seeks reimbursement for the cost of the healthcare upon return from Ireland to their state of residence. The reimbursement will be made in line with published reimbursement rates available from the 'National Contact Person'. 

Can I access SPMHS if I live in Northern Ireland?

If you are a resident of Northern Ireland, you can apply to access care at SPMHS through the Republic of Ireland (ROI) Reimbursement Scheme. The Department of Health in Northern Ireland introduced this scheme from 1 July 2021 for a period of 12 months. The scheme gives you the option to access treatment in the ROI if you meet its eligibility criteria, and to claim reimbursement of the equivalent Health and Social Care (HSC) cost. Visit the HSC website for more information.


We will be happy to provide you with further information how St Patrick's Mental Health Services can meet your mental health treatment needs, and the associated costs.

If you wish to make an enquiry about seeking care and treatment at St Patrick's Mental Health Services please complete the initial enquiry form below and our Support & Information service will respond to you as soon as possible.

Support and Information

Take your first step by making a call: speak to a mental health professional today.

01 249 3333

Referral and Assessment Service

Contact us for queries regarding referrals to our service.

01 249 3635 Referrals & Admissions