Country Profile | Ireland
An overview for expatriate professionals
A small island with breathtaking landscapes and friendly welcoming people, the Republic of Ireland, is part of the British Isles and the third largest island in Europe, separated from Great Britain by the Irish Sea.
Population: 4.9 million
Official Language: English
Ireland has a small, globalised and open economy and is a favoured nation for high value foreign direct investment. Indeed, foreign multinationals are the driver of Ireland's economy, employing a quarter of the private sector workforce, and paying 80% of Irish business taxes.
14 of Ireland's top 20 firms are US-based multinationals
80% of foreign multinationals in Ireland are from the US
Ireland also became the largest foreign location for US "big cap" technology multinationals (i.e. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn).
Ireland adopted the euro currency in 2002 along with eleven other EU member states.
Healthcare in Ireland is provided by both public and private healthcare providers.
The Minister for Health has responsibility for setting overall health service policy. Every resident of Ireland is entitled to receive health care through the public health care system, which is managed by the Health Service Executive and funded by general taxation.
A person may be required to pay a subsidised fee for certain health care received; this depends on income, age, illness or disability. All maternity services are provided free of charge and children up to the age of 6 months. Emergency care is provided to patients who present to a hospital emergency department. However, visitors to emergency departments in non-emergency situations who are not referred by their GP may incur a fee of €100.
Anyone holding a European Health Insurance Card is entitled to free maintenance and treatment in public beds in Health Service Executive and voluntary hospitals. Outpatient services are also provided for free. However, the majority of patients on median incomes or above are required to pay subsidised hospital charges. Private health insurance is available to the population for those who want to avail of it.
Working in Ireland
Most doctors and health care professionals are employed by the public healthcare services in Ireland and registration with the appropriate professional licence board is required.