GP Visit Cards enable you to visit a general practitioner for free. They are passes issued by the HSE and you may be entitled to one if you are not eligible for a Medical Card.
What does it cover?
GP Visit Cards cover the costs of visiting a doctor at a general practitioner’s office. This will depend on the practice you attend, but most visits will typically cost anywhere between €60-€80.
The Card also entitles you to some additional healthcare services, such as public health nursing, social services and community care services.
The Card does not cover the costs of medicines that the doctor may prescribe to you, even if they are for treating a chronic condition. Some of these medicines may be covered by the Prescribed Drugs Scheme or the Long-Term Illness Scheme.
The Card does not cover out-of-hours GP services or hospital visits. Blood tests to diagnose or monitor a condition are covered, however.
Anyone can apply for a GP Visit Card.
There’s no age limit, but there are different types of Cards for children aged 6 years old and under, older people aged 70 years old and over, and for carers.
All children aged 6 years old and under are entitled to a GP Visits Card.
The GP visit card is available to everyone aged over 70 without an income test.
If you get Carer’s Benefit or Carer’s Allowance, at full or half-rate, you are eligible for a GP visit card.
An autism diagnosis in itself does not automatically entitle you to a Medical Card or a GP Visit Card.
How are applications assessed?
You must live in Ireland full-time and meet a means-tested criteria in order to qualify for a GP Visit Card.
This criteria will look at your income to decide if you are eligible for either a Medical Card or a GP Visit Card. It will decide if your income is at a level where refusing you a Card of either kind would cause financial difficulties for you. If you are under 16 years of age, your parent’s income will be decided on if you are eligible.
If you don’t qualify for a medical card, you are then assessed for a GP Visit Card. According to the HSE, up to
The criteria will also look at any social welfare payments you are currently receiving, whether you are out of work or in work. You must include all details of any payments that you are receiving, as your application may be disqualified if you do not.
If you are not currently receiving any social welfare payments, you do not need to include them in your application.
If you are currently working, include your most recent payslips in your application form.
Check out the video below for more advice on filling out the form.
How long does it take to assess an application?
The vast majority of applications for Medical Cards and GP Visit Cards take approximately 15 days for the HSE to assess.
Where can I apply?
You can apply online for a Medical Card or a GP Visit Card at medicalcard.ie. This may be an easier and quicker way for some people to obtain their card if they are in urgent need of one.
If you have any questions before you send in your application you can phone Lo-call 1890 252 919 or email email@example.com.
What if I lose my Card?
If you lose your Card, inform the HSE, by calling LoCall 1890 252 919 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. They will provide you with a new one, free of charge.
When informing the HSE of this, make sure that you provide:
- your full name;
- PPS number, and;
- the name of your GP.
Do I need to keep anything if I visit the GP?
If you are filling out a new prescription and you are on the Long-Term Illness Scheme, bring your booklet with you to every doctor’s appointment. This is so that your doctor can monitor your dosages and make any changes if they need to.
If your application for a Medical Card or a GP Visit Card has been refused, then you can appeal the decision.
Your local area’s HSE Appeals Office will reassess your application. It will be conducted by staff who were not involved in deciding on your original application.
GP Visit Cards’ page on the HSE’s online services directory
GP Visit Cards’ page on Citizens Information