Alternatives to ED

Do I need to go to the ED?

EDs are there to deal with life-threatening emergencies.

For example, if you or the person you are with is:

  • breathless or has chest pain
  • feeling unwell and getting sicker very quickly
  • has suddenly become confused and agitated
  • has developed a rash that does not disappear when pressed down
  • has been in an accident 


What are the Other Options?

There may be options for your symptoms that you can access yourself

Find contact details for your Local Pharmacy

Pharmacies offer a wide range of services, including:

    • prescriptions and repeat prescriptions
    • medicines and treatments that you don’t need a prescription for; colds, pain relief, temperatures, hayfever, rashes and warts
    • help with taking medicines correctly
    • morning after pill 
    • blood pressure check-up
    • vaccines : COVID 19 and flu 

There are also some HSE schemes that can help with pharmacy costs:

Your primary point of contact should always be your GP and/or Out-of-Hours/SouthDoc 

    • Long-term medical illnesses
    • Feeling unwell, but not an emergency
    • Everyone should be registered with a GP, who is responsible for their ongoing healthcare needs. If you do visit the ED, we will often write a letter to your GP for follow up investigations or care.

The local injury network are a fantastic resource for treatment of a wide range of injuries – broken bones, sprains, minor burns, minor wounds. They also have access to X-ray imaging.

It costs €75 but there’s no charge with a medical card or referral from a GP or emergency department. You do not need an appointment. 


Bantry Injury Unit: Bantry General Hospital, Bantry, Cork, P75 DX93

Phone : 027 548 36

  • Available to adults and children aged 5 and older
  • Nearest Emergency Dept: Cork University Hospital (80km)


Mallow Injury Unit: Mallow General Hospital, Mallow, Cork, P51 N288

Phone : 022 58 506

  • Available to adults and children aged 5 and older
  • Nearest Emergency Dept: Cork University Hospital (35km)


The Mercy Injury Unit: The Mercy Injury Unit (Urgent Care Centre), Gurranabraher, Cork City, Cork, T23 YV52

Phone : 021 492 6900

  • Available to adults and children aged 10 and older
  • Nearest Emergency Dept: Mercy Hospital, Cork (1km)

If you have private healthcare, the private network offer a vast range of acute care services that should be considered. These services will divert patients to ED if presentation is not appropriate.


Your GP can refer you to the Acute Medical Assessment Units in one of the following locations if your need is Acute but not life threatening. 

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