Irish residents who qualify for a Medical Card are entitled to certain health services free of charge (or for a small fee), including GP visits, prescribed medicines and hospital visits.
Eligibilty for this scheme is determined based on a means test. You may also qualify for the scheme if the cost of maintaining your health puts you under financial pressure, or if you are entitled to it under EU regulations.
As of January 2009, patients over the age of 70 are subject to a means test. Those who have a weekly gross income of less than €700 (€1400 per couple) qualify for the scheme.
For more information, or to apply, visit your local health office or
From October 2010, medical card holders are required to pay a 50 cent charge on prescription items they receive under the scheme.