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Information for people from Ukraine (English)

the word welcome in Ukrainian national flag colours.

Céad míle fáilte or one hundred thousand welcomes, from everyone at Epilepsy Ireland.

We wish that the tragic circumstances and reasons that you find yourselves in Ireland did not exist, but we hope you can find some comfort, peace and safety in our country for as long as you find yourself here. Epilepsy Ireland welcomes you.

Epilepsy Ireland is the national patient organisation for people with epilepsy and their families here in Ireland. We provide information, support and advice for living with condition of epilepsy.

We know that many people arriving from Ukraine may be living with epilepsy or may be caring for a loved one with epilepsy. We have designed this page to provide some key information that we hope will be of use to you in accessing medical services here in Ireland and anti-epileptic medication (anti-seizure medication).  You will also find links here to pages where you might find other useful information.

It is important that you are aware that some of the processes and procedures outlined here may take time to process and complete. If you or a loved one experience a medical emergency related to your epilepsy, do not hesitate to contact the emergency services by calling 999 or 112.

How is Epilepsy viewed in Ireland?

While some misconceptions still exist in Ireland when it comes to understanding of epilepsy, most people living with epilepsy in Ireland are open about their epilepsy and tell their friends, family and colleagues about their condition. We encourage open disclosure of epilepsy at Epilepsy Ireland as by disclosing that you are a person living with the condition, it helps encourages awareness and understanding about epilepsy.

Addressing the language barrier

We know that many people fleeing Ukraine may have varying levels of English. At the links below, you will find some key phrases that may be useful in a medical context.


How do I access medical services in Ireland?

The Health Service Executive (HSE) runs the public health service in Ireland see:

To fully access health services in Ireland, you will first need a Personal Public Service Number (PPSN). This number is used to access different Government services in Ireland. To get a PPSN, you will need to contact your local Department of Social Protection office (INTREO office). You will need to attend these offices in person. Extra resources have been allocated to the Department so that you can get your PPSN as soon as possible. Details of your local Department of Social Protection Offices are at the link below:

What do I do once I get a PPSN?

When you have a PPSN you will be able to apply for a Medical Card. You will have been granted temporary protection in the state which means you can access state services.

A medical card allows you to access public medical services in Ireland free of charge. This includes visits to a doctor known as a General Practitioner (GP), hospital visits, medication or emergency care. To apply for a medical card, you will need to download a medical card application form from the HSE website. You can find links to the form in both Ukrainian and Russian below.


When you have completed the form, you can either:

1) post the completed form to the National Medical Card Unit, PO Box 11745, Dublin 11, D11 XKF3 or

2) email the completed form to

In order to complete the medical card form, you will need a Doctor/GP to sign and stamp your form and agree to take you on as a patient. You can find details of local GPs at the link below:

It may take some time for the medical card to be fully processed.

How do I get my medications while this process is ongoing?

If you know the name of the medication you are taking and are able to show that this is the medication you are taking (for example - the box containing your medication or a prescription from your Doctor in Ukraine), you can visit your local pharmacy. It is our understanding that pharmacists may be able to dispense an emergency prescription while you are waiting for your medical card application to be processed.  You will need to ask the pharmacist in your local town about this.

How do I access specialist epilepsy care?

When your medical card is processed and approved, you will be able to make an appointment and visit your local GP. You should inform your GP that you have epilepsy and ask to be referred to specialist care. Your GP will write to your closest Neurology Department requesting an appointment for you with a neurologist.

A prescription of medication for people with a new diagnosis of epilepsy is usually initiated by a specialist in Ireland. Therefore, you may need an appointment to see a neurologist if your GP cannot prescribe your medication.  

How do I prepare for the appointment?

Unless you have access to your medical records your neurologist will not have access to your/your child’s history with epilepsy. It is important to provide as much information as possible on your condition. Include information on the date you were first diagnosed, the names of medications that you are/have been on, the types of seizures you have, side-effects from medications that you may have experienced and seizure triggers. If you have a video of your/your child’s seizures this will be helpful. All this information will help your neurologist to build a picture of your/your child’s epilepsy and to decide on treatment options.

What happens when I’m prescribed a medication?

On this first visit, your neurologist will give you a prescription for medication which you will need to bring to your local Pharmacy. There are several pharmacies in local towns and communities across Ireland and you can choose the pharmacy that you want to get your medication at.  If you have a medical card, the medication itself is free. However, a fee of €1.50 per item does apply in prescription charges on the medical card. You can avoid these charges on your epilepsy medication by applying to the Long Term Illness Scheme (see below) but the charges may still apply to other medications you are prescribed on your medical card.

The Long Term Illness Scheme (LTI) allows people who need medication for certain specified chronic illnesses only to receive their medication free of charge, without prescription charges. Epilepsy is one of these illnesses listed on the LTI Scheme. People with epilepsy who have a medical card can also have their epilepsy medication dispensed on the Long Term Illness Scheme and in this way they do not have to pay the €1.50 charge per item for their epilepsy medication.

Your pharmacist can assist you in applying for the Long Term Illness Scheme and your Doctor/GP will need to stamp the form. While your application is being processed there is an Express LTI service that your pharmacist may be able to arrange for you.  For more information see:

How can my child be supported with epilepsy at school?

It is important that you inform your child’s school that they have epilepsy. Epilepsy Ireland offer epilepsy awareness talks to teachers about how to respond to seizures and how to administer emergency medication (if this has been prescribed). Your child’s school can contact us for further information on supporting your child in school.

How can Epilepsy Ireland support me with my epilepsy?

While we do not have direct access to an interpreter, our Community Resource Officer will have the ‘Say Hi’ app or ‘Google Translate’ to help with translations. We know that is an incredibly stressful time for you and may affect your seizure frequency. Our team are here to support you and help in any way we can. Details of your local Community Resource Officer is listed below.

Further information and reading

The below links may be useful for further information regarding living in Ireland.

Ukrainian -

Russian -


This page will be updated when further information becomes available. This is a continually changing situation and unfortunately, there are still questions of how Irish systems will adapt for those arriving from Ukraine. We will keep this page regularly updated with key information relevant to epilepsy.