Medical Cards (also known as GMS cards) are means tested. Holders of a Medical Card are entitled to a range of health services for free including doctor & hospital visits, prescription medicines, some dental and eye & ear health services and some personal and social care services.

For further information on Medical Cards click here If you do not qualify for a full Medical Card you may be entitled to a GP Visit Card which entitles holders to visit their GP for free.

Medical Card prescription charges

The current prescription charge per item dispensed under the Medical Card Scheme is €2.50, subject to a maximum of €25 per month, per person or per family*.

* A family is you, your spouse / partner, any children under 16 years of age and any children between 16 and 21 years of age who are in full time education.

Please provide us with the Medical Card number for each member of you family if you would like us to help you avoid unnecessary prescription charges. If your family visits more than one pharmacy the HSE will automatically refund you any over payments of the prescription charge on a quarterly basis. You may also apply direct to the HSE for a refund if you are concerned you have overpaid. Please call the HSE on 1890 252 919 if you need help with a claim.

The Long Term Illness Scheme is separate from the Medical Card Scheme and GP Visit Card Scheme and it is not means tested.

Certain long-term illnesses and disabilities are covered under the Long Term Illness Scheme (LTI).

If you are covered under the LTI scheme you will receive a Long Term Illness book. The LTI book allows you to receive medicines, medical appliances and surgical appliances directly related to your illness for free.

For further details on the list of illnesses and disabilities covered under the LTI Scheme and how to apply to the scheme please go to the HSE website at

Holders of a GP Visit Card are able to visit their family doctor for free. Only the cost of visits to your family doctor is free. Holders of a GP Visit Card have to pay for their prescription medicines and other health services. Holders of a GP Visit Card can apply for a Drugs Payment Scheme to help with the cost of prescription medicines.

The same application form is used for both the Medical Card and the GP Visit Card. The HSE will check each applicant for the eligibility for both cards.

If you would like to apply for a GP Visit Card (or Medical Card) click here to apply on line

With the GP Visit Card Under 6’s your child will get free GP visits, assessments at age 2 and 5 and care for children with asthma from July 1st 2015.

Medical Card Holders
If your child or children have a Medical Card or GP Visit Card they will automatically be registered for this new scheme.

Non-Medical Card Holders – If your child or children does not have a Medical Card or GP Visit Card you must register them for this new scheme

For further information click here

From 5th August 2015 everyone aged 70 or over, ordinarily resident in Ireland, will be eligible for free GP care regardless of income.

All people aged 70 or over who do not have a Medical Card or GP Visit card can register to access this service.
For further information click here