European Health Insurance Card
If you are a national of an EU/EEA nation or Switzerland, you can apply for a European Health Insurance Card. This entitles EU nationals to access hospital services provided they have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It means that you can get necessary healthcare in the public system of any EU/EEA country or Switzerland, if you become ill or injured while in that country. Further details on EHIC are available here.
Non-EU/EEA nationals can also apply for an EHIC card, provided they are ordinarily resident in Ireland and have made Pay Related Social Insurance contributions. They are also entitled to contract private health insurance and/or access the Irish Health Service in accordance with the rules governing work permits. More information on the Irish Health Service is available here.
Health Services for Students
Students ordinarily resident in Ireland and not from the EU/EEA or Switzerland have the same access as that described above; however, they are required to possess private health insurance on entry to Ireland. It is worth consulting with the university or higher education institution you intend attending for information on favoured suppliers who might provide a discount on insurance to students of that institution.
Private Health Insurance
There are a range of private healthcare providers in the Irish market and the Health Insurance Authority provides and online tool that allows price and service comparison.
Health insurance plans can be compared at this link