Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  • You can apply for a medical card online or by post. To apply online, please go to You will need to print the form once you have completed it and sign it.
  • Bring the completed form to the GP you have chosen. The doctor needs to accept you as a patient and sign the form. You will also need to provide the following information:
    • Your PPS number
    • Dates of birth for you and your dependents
    • Details of income and expenses for you and your dependents

The Health Services Executive (HSE) will decide. Usually, you need to live in Ireland for one year or more to be considered a resident.

  • A work permit or visa
  • A letter from your employer or an employment contract
  • Evidence of transfer of funds to Ireland, bank accounts or the transfer of a pension
  • Proof that you have bought a house or apartment in Ireland, or
  • Proof that are renting
  • Your GNIB card

  • Visits to a family doctor (GP)
  • Prescriptions drugs (with a small fee for each item)
  • Public hospital services
  • Some dental, optical and aural services
  • Maternity and infant care services
  • Community care
  • Personal social services including nursing, home help, physiotherapy, chiropody and respite care

You might qualify for a GP Visit Card even if you don’t qualify for a medical card. A GP Visit Card gives you free access to GP services. Generally, an income test will determine whether you qualify for a medical card or a GP Visit Card. Children under 8 and all people over 70 years of age are entitled to a GP Visit Card without an income test. The HSE will determine if you qualify for a GP Visit Card, you don’t need to fill in a separate form.

  • You will still be able to use health services but you will need to pay a small fee. If you are in hospital, you will need to pay:
    • In-patient fees
    • Out-patient fees
    • Accident and Emergency (A&E) fees
  • There is a limit to how much you will be asked to pay.
    • You won’t pay more than €80 no matter how many medicines you or your family need.
    • Some prescription medication, for illnesses such as epilepsy, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and intellectual disability, is free.
    • Pregnant women are entitled to the free Maternity and Infant Care Scheme
    • You are entitled to some community care services such as nursing, home help, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, chiropody, day care and respite care