Medical Card

What a medical card covers

If you have a medical card you don’t have to pay to see your doctor, or for medicines they prescribe.

A medical card also covers:

  • public out-patient and in-patient services
  • eye and ear tests
  • dental checks

Prescription charges may apply.

Check if you can apply

Anyone who is ‘ordinarily resident’ in the Republic of Ireland can apply for a medical card or GP visit card. This includes families, single people, even those working full or part-time. ‘Ordinarily resident’ means that you are living here and intend to live here for at least one year.

Check if you might be eligible

Being eligible for a medical card depends on your circumstances. If you do not automatically qualify for a medical card, we will carry out an assessment.

You will need to provide information about your:

  • income
  • expenses
  • marital status
  • dependants

If you’re not eligible for a medical card, we will then automatically assess you for a GP visit card.

People who automatically qualify

You may automatically qualify for a medical card if you:

  • are participating in certain government schemes
  • have been affected by the drug Thalidomide
  • have had a surgical Symphysiotomy
  • are a child diagnosed with cancer within the last 5 years
  • are in foster care
  • live in direct provision
  • qualify under EU Regulations

For any of these, you will not be subject to a financial assessment, but you will still need to apply.

Most people who qualify for this scheme do so as their income is below a certain level. You may also qualify if the cost of maintaining your health puts you at financial risk, or if you are entitled to it under EU Regulations.

You can apply online here