Doctors Fees and Prescription Charges

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 8’s and over 70’s now get free GP services in Ireland. (As long as the GP has signed up to the free GP scheme)
Free GP care for under 8s was due to begin in September 2020 but it was delayed until July 2023

How Much Does it Cost to See a Doctor in Ireland?

There are no set fees or charges in Ireland for GP services. A typical GP visit fee is €60  – some charge as much as €80  some may charge as little as €40.
There is no regulation of GP fees – and the Dept of Public Expenditure doesn’t seem to know what the average GP fee is.

It was estimated in, 2019 , that GPs in Ireland received in the region of €200m-€220m per year from patients without medical cards or GP visit cards. (About 2.8 million people.)

There are lots of other things they  will charge for too such as sick notes, vaccinations  ECG , blood tests
You should confirm charges with your GP when you register as they can vary all over the country.

Some doctors / medical centres will also charge €20 or €25 for a repeat prescription.

Most of the above charges will be free to those patients with a medical card or GP visit card.

Medical cards

  • A medical card is available to people on a 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 under 66 taking home less than €304 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 €555 a week (€28,860 a year).
    • There are also allowances for reasonable expenses incurred in respect of childcare costs and rent/mortgage payments.
      Visit for full details and applications.

Visitors from the UK

UK nationals travelling to Ireland can obtain emergency healthcare at a GP or hospital for free . All they need to provide is evidence of residence in the UK , such as a driver’s licence, passport etc. Brexit has not affected this.

Prescription Charges

Charges for medicines on a prescription in Ireland are no longer free if you have a medical card.

Prior to January 2013 Medical Card holders in Ireland didn’t have to pay anything for prescriptions.

Prescription Fees 2023

  • For medical cardholders under 70 the charge is €1.50 for each item.
    capped at a maximum of €15 per month.
  • For people aged over 70, the prescription charge is €1.00 per item.
    This is capped at a maximum of €10 per month for prescribed medicines.

Without a medical card you will pay for the actual cost of the drugs plus a dispensing fee and the pharmacist’s mark-up. There is a limit to what you will be expected to pay – which is €80 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 prescriptions covering 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.