If you live in Ireland and do not have a medical card or a GP Visit Card , you are considered a private patient if you visit your GP. This means that you must pay for the services provided.
Under 6’s and over 65’s now get free GP services (as long as the GP has signed up to the free GP scheme)
There are plans to introduce free GP services for all – but no definite date for this has been announced yet.
A medical card is available to people on low income or whose circumstances enable them to qualify for one.
A GP Visit card is also a means tested card – which has higher levels of income to qualify.
A single person taking home less than €276 a week (after tax , USC) will qualify for a GP Visit card .
A couple with 2 children under 16 will qualify for a GP visit card if their net income is less than €514 a week (€26728 a year)
Visit Medicalcard.ie for full details and applications.
There are no set fees or charges in Ireland for GP services. A typical GP visit fee is €50 – some charge as much as €60 . Some will also charge €25 for a repeat prescription.There are lots of other things they will charge for too such as sick notes, vaccinations etc.
You should confirm charges with your GP when you register as they can vary all over the country.
Charges for medicines on a prescription in Ireland are no longer free if you have a medical card –
From 1 January 2018, the prescription charge in Ireland for medical card holders is €2.00 for each item that is dispensed – up to a maximum of €20 per month per person or family.
Prescription charges for over 70s were reduced to €1.50 an item (from €2) (From Jan 1st 2019)
Prior to January 2013 Medical Card holders in Ireland didn’t have to pay anything for prescriptions .
Without a medical card you will pay for the actual cost of the drugs plus a dispensing fee and the pharmacists mark-up. There is a limit to what you will be expected to pay – which is €134 per month for a family. (Drugs Payment Scheme) . (will be reduced from €134 to €124 From April 1st 2019)
You need to register for this scheme – your pharmacist should be able to help you do this.
Long Term Illnesses
People in Ireland who suffer from certain long term conditions, who are not medical card holders, may obtain the drugs, medicines and medical and surgical appliances for the treatment of that condition – free of charge.
Illnesses and condition covered ;
* Intellectual disability , Mental illness (for people under 16 only) * Diabetes insipidus * Diabetes mellitus * Haemophilia * Cerebral palsy * Phenylketonuria * Epilepsy * Cystic fibrosis * Multiple sclerosis * Spina bifida * Muscular dystrophies * Hydrocephalus * Parkinsonism * Acute leukaemia * Conditions arising from use of Thalidomide
If you qualify, you will get a long-term illness book. This book lists the drugs and medicines for the treatment of your condition, which will be provided to you free of charge Other drugs and medicines not related to the specified condition must be paid for in the normal way.