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 . Visit Medicalcard.ie for full details and applications.
There are no set fees or charges in Ireland for GP services. My local doctor charges €50 when I visit him. He also charges €25 for a repeat prescription.There are lots of other things he will charge me 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 – you will pay €2.50 per item. This is capped at a maximum of €25 per month per person or family .
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 €144 per month for a family. (Drugs Payment Scheme) . 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 ;
* Mental handicap * 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.