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FAQs - UL Global

Welcome to the University of Limerick.  We hope that you enjoy your stay in Ireland and your time studying at the University.

Below is some information of specific interest for international students and we hope this will be of help to you during your stay.  Additional general information is available on our website at www.ul.ie/medical.

The Student Health Centre (SHC) is located in block C, level M, in the main building and provides a service for University of Limerick (UL) registered students only.

It is an urgent care/advisory service and deals with all acute health issues as they present. Our services include access to a doctor, nurse, contraceptive clinic, sexual health clinic and physiotherapy. 

Any students with a long-term medical condition which requires regular follow up should register with a local General Practitioner (GP). For information regarding local GPs, please email Ria.Toland@ul.ie.

Please note!!

  1. If you require specialist care or medications on an ongoing basis, it is very important that you do your research in advance of travelling to Ireland to ensure that the necessary care and medications are available to you here.
  2. To register with us you must have an Irish mobile number. For more information on this please see FAQs below – How do I register with the SHC?

Q. How can I check if my medication is available in Ireland?

Most medications are available in Ireland and can be prescribed by a doctor within the SHC or a local GP. This should enable you to continue your treatment as necessary. However, there are some exceptions. Medications that are available in your own country are sometimes not licensed for use here. It is very important to check this before you make the decision to travel! You should consider bringing your medication with you for the duration of your stay. If you do, you must ensure that it is in the original packaging in your hand luggage. 

If it is not possible to bring a sufficient supply of medication with you, we will require an original prescription or a letter from your prescribing doctor explaining why you need this medication. If your current medication is unlicensed in Ireland an alternative option may be offered by a doctor here in Ireland if it is clinically indicated. 

If you need any additional clarification about your medications before travelling, please email Ria.Toland@ul.ie and one of our doctors will review your query.

Listed below is some common medications that fall into the hospital consultant only prescribed category in Ireland.

1. Roaccutane for the treatment of Acne

This must be prescribed by a hospital consultant dermatologist and requires referral for supervision.

2. Immune Modulators

This group of drugs is used to treat complex medical conditions including but not limited to Multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. These drugs are hospital consultant prescribed and referral for hospital treatment will be necessary. If you have a significant medical condition such as one of these mentioned, it is essential that you discuss your condition with your own specialist including the implications of travelling abroad to study to ensure optimum care.

3. Allergy injections

Allergy injections are only given in a hospital setting and require referral to an allergy hospital consultant. They cannot be administered in the SHC.

4. Transgender medication

Medication for Gender Reassignment must be prescribed under hospital consultant endocrinologist supervision in Ireland. Students requesting treatment at the SHC are generally referred to the National Gender Service. This is based at St Columcille's Hospital in Dublin and has a long waiting time for patients to be seen. If available, providing information regarding your previous diagnosis and treatment plan from your own treating physician may facilitate an earlier appointment. Please be aware that some treatments that may be used quite extensively abroad are unlicensed and therefore cannot be prescribed or administered in Ireland. If possible, please bring sufficient medication from your home country to cover your stay in Ireland or to last until you have been seen by the National Gender service. 

5. Drugs used for treating ADD/ADHD.

If you have a diagnosis of ADHD / ADD from a specialist abroad, please bring your documentation confirming the diagnosis and treatment plan from your treating physician with you to Ireland. Treatment in Ireland must be under the supervision of a hospital consultant psychiatrist and so a referral is necessary, particularly as some medications used abroad are un-licensed here. It may be some time before you are seen and so there is a potential for disruption of your regular treatment schedule. If you are studying at UL for a short period of time, it can be helpful to bring enough supply of medication from your home country to last until you return home.  Appointments for initial assessment and diagnosis of ADHD/ ADD are currently very limited.

6. Xolair (Omalizumab)

Students taking Xolair (Omalizumab) may not be able to continue this treatment while here. It would be advisable that students complete their treatment in their home country before travelling to Ireland to start their studies.

Q. Can I avail of the Drugs Payment Scheme to cover the costs of my medications?

Anyone who is an ordinary resident in the Republic of Ireland can apply for the Drugs Payment Scheme. Ordinary resident means that you are living in Ireland and intend to live in Ireland for at least one year. However, eligibility is also based on the type of immigration stamp you hold. Most students from outside the EU/EEA hold a stamp 2 or 2A permission and cannot receive any benefits or use publicly funded services (e.g. public hospitals) unless you have an entitlement via other means. Please check your immigration stamp and the Drugs Payment Scheme website for further details.

 

Q. I need regular infusions for my medical condition.  Can I continue these when I come to study in Ireland?

We are not equipped in the SHC to deliver this type of treatment as it requires hospital supervision. Patients receive infusions for different medical reasons. An appointment will be needed with a specialist in the relevant clinical speciality to facilitate your treatment. Ideally, this should be set up well in advance of travel, particularly if the treatment required is scheduled soon after your arrival in Ireland. These treatments are carried out in both public and private hospitals. Patients who have not already made arrangements will be referred to either our local public or private hospital as requested. This may cause an unavoidable delay. It is important that you confirm BEFORE TRAVELLING that you have adequate health insurance cover for this specific treatment, as not all insurance policies will provide adequate cover and you may be exposed to significant costs. Note: A treating doctor in your home country can contact their counterpart here in Limerick to facilitate your ongoing treatment. 

Students on regular medication must obtain a prescription from an Irish doctor.  In the case of controlled drugs (e.g. strong painkillers or sedatives), the doctor will need a letter from your own physician confirming the medications you are on. The letter should outline briefly the condition the medication is prescribed for and state clearly the name, dose and duration of the medication required.

All prescriptions for medication are sent electronically by our doctors or nurse to whichever pharmacy is most convenient for you. There will be a fee at the pharmacy to purchase the medication.  

Below is a list of pharmacies close to the University:

  • Castletroy Park Pharmacy, Unit 5, Park Retail Center, Castletroy, Co. Limerick, Tel: +353 (0)61 201 010
  • Castletroy Pharmacy, University Court, Castletroy, Co. Limerick Tel: + 353 (0) 61 333 030
  • Scanlons’s Late Night Pharmacy, Unit 6 Chawkes Service Station, Dublin Road, Castletroy, Co. Limerick, Tel: + 353 (0) 61 203 003
  • Lloyd’s Pharmacy, Castletroy Shopping Centre, Dublin Rd, Castletroy, Limerick, Tel: +353 (0) 61 339 454
  • Lloyd’s Pharmacy, Parkway Shopping Centre, Limerick, Tel: +353 (0) 61 412 023

The University’s UL Éist Student Counselling and Resiliency Service provides a number of supports to those with mental health needs.  For more information please click here.

If you are attending a psychiatrist at home and you need to continue your treatment under the care of a psychiatrist whilst in Ireland, you will need to bring a letter with you from your doctor confirming your diagnosis and it should clearly state the name, dose and duration of the medication required.

Depending on your diagnosis and treatment plan, our doctor may be able to continue your treatment and prescribe the necessary medication for you. If there needs to be continued specialist supervision, our doctor or UL Éist Student Counselling and Resiliency Service can refer you to a consultant psychiatrist as appropriate. The waiting times to see a psychiatrist in Ireland varies, and can take a number of months. Priority is given to urgent cases.

We recommend that all students are fully vaccinated for Covid19 before coming to Ireland.

Please see the links below for the most up to date information on Covid19:-

https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/

https://www.ul.ie/covid/.

Changes made to SHC procedures due to Covid19

Information specific to international students

The latest statistics regarding the number of infections

There is no dental surgery on campus and we are not linked to any particular local dentist.  Below is a list of some dentists close to the University:-

  • No8 Dental Clinic, University Court Medical Centre, Castletroy, Limerick Tel: +353 (0) 61 331414
  • Dr Ruth Murphy, Glanleam, Dublin Road, Castletroy, Limerick Tel:  +353 (0) 61 335226
  • Shields Dental Clinic, Unit 15, Castletroy Shopping Centre, Limerick Tel: +353 (0) 61 480070
  • Dr Killian Iarlaith, 5B Whitethorns, Castletroy, Co. Limerick, Tel: +353 (0) 61 339723

Q. What is a specialist or a consultant?

A specialist is a hospital-based doctor who offers specialised assessment and treatment for more complex types of medical problems. They are also referred to as hospital consultants. 

In Ireland, you must first have an initial medical assessment with a GP before attending a specialist doctor. Where appropriate the GP will refer you to a specialist for further assessment, investigation, and management. 

Q. What is the differenct between a public and a private hospital?

The Health Service Executive (HSE) runs the public hospitals in Ireland on behalf of the Irish government. Everyone is entitled to go to a public hospital. There may be some charges depending on your circumstances e.g. your immigration permission/visa stamp or when attending the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department without first seeing a GP. There can often be long waiting lists for assessment and treatment in public hospitals.

A private hospital is fee-based and we would recommend that you check the terms of your medical insurance policy to ensure that the costs involved are covered by the policy. Waiting times to be seen are generally shorter in private hospitals than in public hospitals.

Q. How do I organise the continuation of my specialist care when I come to Ireland?

If you are attending a specialist doctor in your home country, it is very important that you have a consultation with them prior to travelling. The pros and cons of living in a foreign country with your condition need to be discussed. You must check that your treatment is available in Ireland and if not, consideration should be given to an alternative treatment that is available in Ireland. Alternatively, you may decide to bring your treatment with you.

Your doctor should provide you with a written summary of your diagnosis and list of medications. In some circumstances, they may also need to contact a specialist doctor in Ireland directly to ensure your treatment is available and can be arranged without interruption.

We recommend that you book an appointment with a doctor in the SHC as soon as you arrive in Ireland to ensure that any necessary specialist referrals are made for you. You will need to bring your doctors letter with you.

Please note that there may be a time delay of weeks or sometimes months before specialist doctor appointments can take place, so you need to ensure that you have enough medication with you to allow for this. This is particularly important if your medical condition could deteriorate if your medication is stopped for any reason.

You should always check in advance of travel to Ireland that your treatment is covered by your medical insurance policy.

The SHC does not deal with any medical Insurance providers. You must contact us directly and you will need to pay at the time of booking your appointment. It is up to you to check the terms and conditions of your medical insurance policy and submit a claim when necessary.

When booking appointments, please request a receipt. The receipt will be emailed to you and you may use it when submitting a claim.

For additional information regarding medical insurance, please click here.

If you need to contact someone with a query, please send an email to UL Global at international@ul.ie

Students from EU member states and Switzerland are entitled to emergency services under the PUBLIC system if they have an EHIC with them. You should apply for your EHIC before leaving home. Please note that the EHIC only covers attendance at public facilities and GPs who are part of the scheme, and it does not cover private care.

The SHC is not part of this scheme and cannot facilitate EHIC cards.  If necessary, we can provide you with a list of some local doctors. We recommend that you check when requesting an appointment with them that they can accept EHIC cards.

In Ireland, you should only ever present to the Accident & Emergency (A&E) department or call an ambulance in the event of a major medical emergency.  In all other cases, you should contact the SHC or one of the services listed in the Out of Hours Clinics information.

Charges apply for attending A&E except for those who have:

An initial assessment by a GP and are referred to the A&E with a doctor’s letter.
OR

Students who present a valid EHIC card will not need to pay.

For information on hospital charges please see

If you have medical insurance, you may be able to claim some or all of any expenses incurred  (please see below for additional information regarding medical insurance).

For serious injuries and life-threatening emergencies, please telephone 112 or 999 for ambulance response.

The 24 hour UL Campus Emergency number is 00 353 (0)61 21 333.

Q. What is a GP?

A GP is a General Practitioner or a medical doctor. They are also referred to as family practitioners in some countries and they provide what is called primary medical care in Ireland. A GP provides the first point of care for patients.

In the UL SHC there are 5 part- time GPs along with a Nurse Practice Manager and administration support.

For information regarding local GPs, if required, please email Ria.Toland@ul.ie.

 

Q. What services does the SHC provide?

The SHC is an urgent care/advisory service and deals with all general health issues as they present. Our services include access to GPs, a nurse, contraceptive clinic, sexual health clinic, physiotherapy.

Any students with a long-term medical condition which requires regular follow up should register with a local GP, as the SHC is not a GP service. For information regarding local GPs, if required, please email Ria.Toland@ul.ie.

For more information on our services please click here.

 

Q. What are the opening hours / clinic times of the SHC?

Please click the links below for information on this:-

Opening Hours
Clinic Times

 

Q. How do I register with the SHC?

When you need to book an appointment please telephone the SHC and we can register your details on our system. You will be asked for your UL ID number, name, Limerick address, date of birth and Irish mobile number. We do not deal directly with Medical Insurance companies so you must make the booking yourself.   The phone can be very busy at times so please be patient and keep trying.

We can email a receipt to you at the time of booking should you require it for claiming back the costs of your appointments from your medical insurance company.  You will need to be familiar with the terms of your policy and what it covers.

Please note! in order to register with the SHC you must have an Irish mobile number.  We are unable to access international numbers and the Health Service Executive (HSE) which runs public health services in Ireland is also unable to access international numbers.  This means they will not be able to contact you in the event you are referred to one of its services.

 It is possible to use an Irish SIM card without having to purchase another mobile phone.  You just need to make sure that you contact your network provider before travelling to Ireland to ask that they unlock your phone so that it will accept an Irish SIM.  The fee for a SIM card is approximately €15 per month.

Some local mobile phone/SIM card providers are:

 

Q. How do I book an appointment / check in for an appointment?

Please click here for information on this.

 

Q. Where is the SHC waiting room?

Please click here for information on this.

 

Q. What does it cost for a consultation at the SHC?

Please click here for information on our charges.

Please see the links below and click here for more useful information.

Find a GP in your area:

Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) practical information for the International Student:

Link to citizens information on GPs in Ireland.

IGrade Applications