GP Visit Cards

A GP Visit Cards allows individuals and families in Ireland to visit their family doctor for free. Only the cost of visits to your family doctor is free; you must pay for prescribed drugs, medicines and other health services similar to others who don't have a Medical Card. If you have a GP Visit Card you should also apply for a Drugs Payment Scheme Card if you don't already have one.



Am I entitled to a GP Visit Card?
The same application form is used for both the Medical Card and the GP Visit Card. This means that you don't have to worry about which type of card might best suit you - we will check your eligibility for both cards.

The income guidelines for GP Visit Cards are higher than the Medical Card and the allowances for rent, mortgage and childcare bring many people's income within the guidelines.

You will get a GP Visit Card if the combined means of you and your spouse/partner is below our income guidelines. Your means includes any income, property (but not your own home), investments and savings.

Your eligibility for a Medical Card is assessed first. If unsuccessful you are automatically assessed for a GP Visit Card.

When we make an assessment for a GP Visit Card, we only assess your income after Tax and PRSI are deducted. We also make allowance for rent and mortgage payments, for childcare expenses, and travel to work expenses.

If your assessed means are still more than the GP Visit Card guidelines you may still qualify for a GP Visit Card on the grounds that your medical costs causes you undue financial hardship. Such an example would be if you had an ongoing medical condition that required exceptional and regular medical treatment, or visits to the doctor or hospital.

If the cost of this would cause you undue financial hardship, then a card may be granted on these grounds. Other exceptional circumstances are always considered where a person or family has personal or social issues causing undue financial hardship. The card may be granted for the whole family, or for individual members of a family on the grounds of
undue financial hardship.

Your entitlement to a GP Visit Card is reviewed periodically. This is because your circumstances may change. Failure to return your review form will mean your GP Visit Card may not be re-issued.

Back to top

When Can I Apply?
You can apply for a GP Visit Card at any time; you don't need to wait until a medical need arises.

How do I Apply?
The same application form is used for both the Medical Card and the GP Visit Card. This means that you don't have to worry about which type of card might best suit you - we will check your eligibility for both cards.

Forms are available on the top right of this page or you can also apply online on www.medicalcard.ie.

What happens if I move to another HSE Local Health Office area?
If you move from one Local Health Office area to another you do not have to re-apply for a new GP Visit Card. You should make contact with your new Local Health Office where you will be advised of the GPs practising in your new area of residence.

Back to top

What if I am Refused a GP Visit Card?
You will receive a decision on your completed application within a short time of applying. If you are not satisfied with the decision, you may have it reviewed. Your circumstances may have changed or you may have left out some relevant information from the original application. If following this you are still not satisfied - you may appeal to the Appeals Office. (The contact details will be contained in your letter of refusal). The Appeals Office will conduct a reassessment of your application. This will be conducted by HSE staff not involved in deciding on your original application.

If you are not entitled to a Medical Card or a GP Visit Card, there are other HSE schemes that you can apply for. You may find these schemes can ease the financial cost of providing medical care for yourself and your family.

These schemes are as follows:

Back to top