A medical card entitles the holder to free GP services, approved prescribed drugs and medicines, all in-patient public hospital services, all out-patient public hospital services, dental services, ophthalmic services and aural services.
An application form for a medical card can be obtained from your GP, local health centre, or it can be downloaded from the HSE website,at www.hse.ie/en/Forms
If you do not qualify for a full medical card, you may be entitled to a GP visit card.
You can download the application from the HSE website www.hse.ie/en/Forms or, alternatively, you can call the HSE information line (Monday – Saturday 8am to 8pm) Tel: 1850 241 850.
Under the Drugs Payment Scheme, individuals and families who do not hold a medical card do not have to pay more than €100 per calendar month for approved prescribed drugs, medicines and medical appliances, including medical oxygen concentrators.
An application form for the Drugs Payment Scheme can be obtained from your local pharmacy or your local health centre.
Once your application has been processed, you will receive a plastic swipe card with your personal Drugs Payment Scheme number. This card should be given to your pharmacist each time you get your prescription filled. Over-the-counter medicines or products are not covered by the Drugs Payment Scheme.
It is a good idea to keep all your pharmacy and oxygen receipts in order to claim tax relief using the MED 1 (Health Expenses Claim) at the end of the year.
Irish residents are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union, European Economic Area or Switzerland, if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there.
Contact your local health centre for an EHIC. You can also apply for the card on-line at www.ehic.ie/apply.htm
Public Health Nurse visits can be organised through your local health centre. This can be activated by the hospital or by your GP.