Frequently Asked Question for International Students
As UCC has a Student Health Department, why do I need to register with a local doctor?
UCC Student Health Department does not operate as a General Practitioner Service, and does not undertake emergency or routine home visits, and is not in a position to be responsible for your health care out of hours, at night time or week-ends. It is important therefore, particularly if you have an ongoing illness or medical problem that you register with a local General Practitioner for the duration of your time in UCC.
How do I register with a local General Practitioner?
A list of General Practitioners in the Cork region is available from the Irish College of General Practitioners, the body responsible for co-ordinating post-graduate training of GPs in Ireland. The list is available at http://www.icgp.ie/go/find_a_gp. You should then contact the GP Practice and enquire as to how to register as a patient. Practices may differ in how they accept or register new patients, and some Practices may not be accepting new patients onto their list. Practices usually will only accept you as a patient upon arrival in Ireland, and are unlikely to register you prior to your arrival.
I have an existing medical condition/illness. Should I bring my medical records with me?
Yes, it is wise to bring a copy of your medical records in full or in summarised format, with details of your condition(s), including what treatment you have had previously, especially if your own doctor in your country of origin advises that you continue on a course of treatment/medication whilst you are in Ireland. Contact details for your home doctor(s) should also be included.
I am on a course of medication/treatment from my own doctor. Will I be able to get this medication/treatment in Ireland?
Most medications or treatments available to you in your home country are likely to be available in Ireland. A complete list of medications licensed for presciption in Ireland can be searched on the Irish Medicines Borad website. Click here. There may still be exceptions however, and the decision to continue to prescribe or advise an ongoing treatment lies with the prescribing/treating doctor in Ireland. For further details as to circumstances where a doctor may decline to continue treatment see the document on importation of medicines on this website. If in doubt, you should discuss this with a doctor in Ireland (well in advance of your arrival in Ireland) by forwarding the details of the medication/treatment including the reason you are on the medication and the details of the prescribing/treating doctor in your home country.
My doctor advises that I need to be followed up/attend a Specialist whilst in Ireland. How is this arranged?
Attendance at a Specialist/Consultant (the term “Consultant” is more commonly used in Ireland to denote a doctor with expertise in a particular area of medicine) is arranged usually by attending a General Practitioner in Ireland who then decides which Specialist/Consultant best suits your needs. The GP then writes to the Specialist/Consultant requesting that an appointment be sent to you for the Specialist/Consultant. Please note that the waiting time for Specialists/Consultants in some specialities/disciplines can be very long indeed, sometimes many months or even years. Occasionally, and particularly if you have a complex condition or serious illness this appointment may be arranged prior to your arrival in Ireland. Please ask your own Doctor to contact the Student Health Department if you feel you have particular health needs.
Am I entitled to free medical care in Ireland?
Details of your entitlements and liability to pay are available on the Entitlements page of our website. You are advised to consider taking out Health Insurance for your stay in Ireland.
What should I do if I become ill out of hours, at night time or week-ends?
You should contact your General Practitioner in Cork to determine what arrangements are in place for out of hour emergency cover. For any student not yet registered with a General Practitioner, an arrangement is in place with a local General Practice to provide cover in the interim period. Details of how to contact this service may vary, so students are advised to telephone the Student Health Department 4902311 and follow the instructions in the recorded telephone message.
How do I call an ambulance in an emergency situation?
Telephone the emergency response number 112 or 999. The operator will request details of which service you require and an emergency ambulance will be dispatched to the location. Emergency services should only be requested in urgent and life threatening situations.
What vaccinations are recommended for students coming to University in Ireland?
All visiting students are advised to ensure that they have received completed courses of all immunisations appropriate to their age that are recommended for their home country. If not already included in this list the following immunisations are also recommended: MMR and Meningitis C. Ideally you should avail of these vaccinations at least 8 weeks prior to your arrival in Ireland. The Student Health Department can provide these vaccinations free of charge once you arrive.
What services are available at the Student Heath Department?
Details of the services available at the Student Health Department can be found on our website. Note there is a reduced service available out of term in the months of May/June to September inclusive. During this period there is no Physiotherapy or Specialist Psychiatrry service on-site
Will the Student Health Department contact or speak to parents/relatives or family of a visiting student.
All consultations at the Student Health Department are confidential, and details of your condition and treatment will only be shared with others with your expressed consent. We do recognise families are often very concerned about you when you are overseas, and therefore once you have given consent we will communicate with your family as appropriate.
How can family members/ my own doctor communicate with/contact the Student Health Department?
Details of how to contact the Student Health Department are available on our website . Please note that for reasons of data security and patient confidentiality, the Student Health Department does not use e-mail for receipt or transmission of clinical information. Faxed transmission of written communication is probably the quickest way of communicating. Please note the restricted office hours and allow for time difference in making telephone contact.
Students coming to Ireland from abroad may be taking medication prescribed by a doctor in their home country. Please see document below for details as to how to import medication in person or via post, or how to obtain a prescription for the medication from a doctor in Ireland.