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I’ve recently been successful in becoming a dual British/Irish citizen. I currently live in the UK. I’ve tried applying for an Irish EU Health Card, but you have to have a PPS Number to get one. In order to get a PPS Number, you have to prove you live in Ireland.

I currently hold a British EU Health Card. But since the UK is leaving the EU, I’m not sure how much longer this will be valid for.

Two questions:

  • Is there a way to get an Irish PPS Number while living in the UK?

  • Can I use my current British EU Health Card in Ireland?

  • Health coverage generally depends on residence, not citizenship, so you would normally use whatever mechanisms are available for UK residents to use health services in Ireland. – phoog Nov 26 '17 at 18:33
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You ask

Is there a way to get an Irish PPS Number while living in the UK?

No. At citizensinformation.ie you can learn that "you must be living in Ireland to apply for a PPS number."

You also ask

Can I use my current British EU Health Card in Ireland?

Of course. The UK government has a page about this, which says in part

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows a British National to access necessary treatment while you are on a temporary stay in Ireland, if you become ill or have an accident. This card should be obtained in advance of your travel.

The UK government actually misstates the situation slightly, because the card is not restricted to British nationals or even EU/EEA/Swiss nationals; it is available to everyone who participates in the NHS. From the NHS page, which is more specific:

Entitlement to an EHIC is based on insurability under EU law, and not on a person's nationality. This applies to all EEA countries. The UK operates a residency-based healthcare system, which means that insurability is generally determined by residency and not by the past or present payment of National Insurance contributions or UK taxes.

Similarly, the mandate of the Irish Health Service Executive is to serve everyone living in Ireland, which you are not.

You note

since the UK is leaving the EU, I’m not sure how much longer this will be valid for.

The rights of EU citizens and British citizens after the UK leaves the EU are a matter of contentious debate at the moment, but the debate largely concerns rights of residence. Other practicalities such as reciprocity of health insurance seem likely to get lost in the mix, which suggests that it's likely that the UK will simply withdraw from the EHIC system either at the moment it leaves the EU or possibly at some later point if there is a transition period. At that point, your most likely avenue for coverage when you are visiting Ireland will be travel insurance.

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Some further information that could add to the answers above regarding healthcare.

Ireland and the UK have special healthcare agreements due to the Common Travel Area. On Wikipedia, it states the following on the Healthcare in the ROI page:

Under Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangements, British citizens do not require an EHIC card and can instead present their NHS number, NHS card, driving licence or other proof of residence within the CTA.

Also, on the NHS website:

The UK and Irish authorities have an agreement where UK residents do not need their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access healthcare services if they are on a temporary stay in Ireland. It is enough to show proof that you are ordinarily resident in the UK, such as a driving licence, passport or similar documentation that shows your NHS number or its equivalent.

In regards to Brexit, nobody knows the final outcome; but Ireland and the UK have committed to maintaining the Common Travel Area so I expect the UK exemption in the ROI and the Irish exemption in the UK would remain.

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