GP Diagnostics

GP direct access to diagnostics is an integral component of the Enhanced Community Care programme. Direct access to X-ray, CT, MRI and DEXA is available nationally for all GPs. This builds on pathways already in place for GP direct access to ultrasound.

The increased direct access to radiology diagnostics is made available via five private providers or hospitals.

GP access to X-Ray, CT, MRI and DEXA services is available to the full adult patient (16 years of age and over) population of Ireland until the 31st of December 2022.

GP direct access to Ultrasound is provided through a combination of national and local initiatives and is available to adult patients (16 years of age and over) with a medical card, GP visit card or Health Amendment Act (HAA) card.

How to access the additional radiology services

Before referring a patient for scan you must:

  1. Assess if the patient requires a scan
  2. Check if the patient and scan type are covered by this service
  3. Inform patient of private providers available
  4. Refer patient via appropriate channel (via this service or hospital/ privately if not covered).

You can make a referral to all private providers (except Global Diagnostics) by submitting an e-referral using the General Referral Form on Healthlink. Healthlink can be accessed via the Healthlink web portal or via your accredited practice management software.  

If you are referring to Global Diagnostics, you can email referrals to ​hse@globaldiagnostics.ie​ or use the secure ‘fax to email’ line at 01 5313425. What information do I need to include on the referral?

What information do I need to include on the referral?

When filling out the General Referral Form via Healthlink, all required fields should be filled out. 

Please note the new code: ‘GP Access to Community Diagnostics’ which is to be used for referrals.

You must also include the following information specified below in the free text box on the General Referral Form:   

Information Required in General Referral Free Text Box 

Example

 Code: ‘GP Access to Community Diagnostics’  

GP Access to Community Diagnostics

CHO 

CHO 1 

Area (per ‘GP Access to Diagnostics CHO Private Providers’ document) 

 Cavan and Monaghan 

Medical card or GP visit card number if available (8 characters) 

A1B23456C 

Provider and Location 

Alliance Medical, Galway 

Modality 

CT 

Part of the body to be scanned (depending on type of scan being requested) 

Sinuses 

Urgent or Routine 

Routine 

Patient mobile number (if not provided already) 

086-123-4567 

10 

Relevant clinical information, including previous imaging and where this was done 

 MRI Brain at St James’  Hospital 

It is important that all of the above information is specified correctly on the referral, particularly the valid medical card or GP visit card number where applicable.

The Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO) Matrices (see related files below) and National Matrix provide you with information on the locations where patients can be referred. A summary of the radiology diagnostics services is also included.

You can find answers to any questions you may have about the rollout and how to refer your patient for X-ray, CT, MRI and DEXA in Your Questions Answered.

GP direct access to diagnostics has provided GPs with access to about 138k radiology scans in 2021 and approximately 163k in 2022 as at end July. 

This rollout supports the long-term objective to expand Primary Care services aligned to the:

These reports highlight the crucial role played by GPs in the Enhanced Community Care programme, and in shifting the provision of care from acute to community settings.