More than 2,000 had care abroad paid for last year
The number of people from the Republic availing of paid-for healthcare abroad has risen from seven in 2014 to more than 2,000 last year.
They availed of the EU cross-border directive which allows for the cost of care to be reimbursed by the HSE.
Many went to Northern Ireland but others travelled to Hungary, Lithuania, Italy, Germany, Poland, Latvia and France.
The cost of the scheme rose from €29,264 in 2014 to more than €4.4m last year.
The care they received was for a range of conditions including orthopaedics and plastic surgery.
Other procedures covered included gynaecology, gastroenterology, dental, ear nose and throat, and cardiology.
One person can submit numerous applications over a period of time.
It is not necessary to be on a public waiting list to apply for the scheme which requires a medical referral.
People must pay the cost of the treatment upfront.