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Emergency medical cards

A healthcare professional can apply for an emergency medical card for you in certain situations

In a number of emergency situations, you may be approved for a temporary medical card for 6 months. These are called emergency medical cards. 

Applications for emergency medical cards

Only a healthcare professional can apply for an emergency medical card for you.

A detailed medical report must be included with the application. This report should provide patient information including: 

  • diagnosis
  • disease staging (where available)
  • planned treatment 
  • prognosis (outlook) 

A HSE medical officer will review the emergency medical card application.

If your application is approved, it can take 7 to 10 days to get your emergency medical card in the post. But your card will be active straight away so you can get the care you need under this scheme.

After you get an emergency medical card

You will need to complete a means assessment before your emergency medical card expires. We will write to you when you need to do this.

The means assessment is for a full medical card for you and your family.

Terminal illness card

In some cases, the medical officer may recommend a terminal illness card. These are given to people who are getting ‘end of life’ treatment. This means a prognosis of less than 12 months to live. 

If you get a terminal illness card it will never be reviewed and will not expire.

page last reviewed: 24/07/2019
next review due: 24/07/2022