If you have a medical card you don't have to pay to see your GP (doctor) or for most 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 lives in the Republic of Ireland and plans to live there for at least 1 year can apply for a medical card.
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 must provide information about your:
- marital status
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.
Read about the Redress Scheme for Women Resident in Certain Institutions.