Under the Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions 2015 Act, all RWRCI cardholders are eligible for health services.
There is no need to apply to the HSE. Women eligible under this scheme are accepted to it by the Department of Justice & Equality. The HSE will contact these women when notified by the Department of Justice & Equality of their acceptance to the scheme.
Download the RWRCI Scheme application form
The Department of Justice and Equality contact details for the scheme are:
The Restorative Justice Implementation Team, Department of Justice and Equality, Montague Court, Montague Street, Dublin 2
Tel: 01 476 8660
Each HSE Community Health Organistion has a RWRCI Contact Person
Health Services for RWRCI cardholders
General Practitioner Service
This includes standard attendances for routine general practitioner services at a GP chosen by the RWRCI cardholder from the list of GPs participating in the
General Medical Services (GMS) scheme or a non-GMS registered medical practitioner providing general practitioner services.
Drugs, Medicines and Medical and Surgical Appliances
The cardholder is eligible to receive free of charge all medicines, medical and surgical appliances that are currently reimbursed by the community drugs
scheme. This eligibility refers to items prescribed by a clinical professional. Cardholders are not required to pay any prescription fees.
Dental, Ophthalmic and Aural Services
The cardholder has access to public dental, ophthalmic (eye sight) and aural (hearing) services.
Service under the Dental Treatment Service Scheme include:
- A free oral examination every calendar year
- Two fillings every calendar year
- All extractions
- Free emergency dental treatment for relief of pain and sepsis
- Dentures (every 5 years, if clinically necessary)
- Additional fillings, prophylaxis, other more complex dental treatments if clinically indicated
This service includes:
- Free eye examination by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist
- Any necessary standard spectacles, (frames and lenses, once every two years more often if required in certain medical circumstances). Lost or
broken spectacles may be replaced within two years.
The HSE provides aural services, including hearing tests, hearing aids and repairs of hearing aids.
Home Nursing Service
The cardholder can access the home nursing service, which is provided by the HSE under section 60 of the Health Act 1970, (as amended). The
nursing service, which is defined as care provided at home, can provide advice on matters relating to the cardholder's health and assist her if she
Home Support Services
The cardholder can access the home support service, which is provided by the HSE under section 61 of the Health Act 1970, (as amended). This
service assists her to remain in her own home and provides assistance with personal care. The extent of support will be determined following an
assessment by a registered medical practitioner or a registered nurse that the service is so required.
The cardholder can access chiropody services, which are provided by the HSE, following a referral made by a registered medical practitioner,
registered nurse or Primary Care team.
The cardholder can access physiotherapy services, which are provided by the HSE, following a referral made by a registered medical practitioner or
Primary Care team.
The cardholder can access a counselling service, relative to her admission to and/or work in any of the institutions specified in the Schedule in the
Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Act 2015. The counselling service is provided by the HSE, following a referral made by a registered medical practitioner, e.g. the woman's GP.
To access the services of the RWRCI Act, cardholders are required to produce their cards as evidence of eligibility to gain access to services.
Occupational Therapy and Speech & Language services were not recommended by the Quirke Report and are not in the legislation as services to be provided.
The HSE will facilitate input from Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy if the need arises.
The following is not covered
The statutory charge (currently €100) for attending an Emergency Department or any other facility providing similar services in a public hospital.
The statutory charge (currently €75) for public acute in-patient services in a public hospital.
If you have a medical card, these charges will be covered.
The Medical Card and the RWRCI card number for each individual client is the same. Therefore, cover can be ascertained by checking this number.
Access to services will be provided on the basis of assessed need. There will be no priority access to services for RWRCI cardholders.
Arrangements for women living overseas
The Quirke Report did not recommend that health services should be provided to women living overseas. However, the Government has decided that administrative arrangements will be put in place. Women living overseas are entitled to access the specified primary and community health services if they visit or return to Ireland on or after 1st July 2015. They are advised to contact the relevant Community Health Organisation Contact Person for information before returning to Ireland. The woman will be required to produce her card as evidence of eligibility to gain access to services in Ireland.
The Department of Health and the HSE are currently exploring the practical arrangements for women to access specified primary and community health services outside of Ireland. Options on arrangements are currently being examined.
It is not necessary for women resident overseas to select a designated General Practitioner. The CHO contact person will advise of GPs that may be available to them if they wish to attend a GP during a visit to Ireland.
Means testing for Medical Card or Fair Deal
The ex-gratia payment received from the Minister for Justice and Equality, will not be included in the assessment of means for a medical card, GP visit card or Fair Deal scheme.
National Medical Card Unit contact details
Lo Call 1890 252 919 (or +353 51 595129 if calling from abroad)
Read our Frequently Asked Questions