Hepatitis C and the Health Amendment Act Card
There are special arrangements within the health services for people who have contracted Hepatitis C from Human Immunoglobulin-Anti-D or another blood product or blood transfusion in Ireland. They are entitled to services such as GP, nursing and home help services as well as counselling services, regardless of their income. These services are covered by the Health Amendment Act Card (HAA Card).
Hepatitis C Insurance Scheme
The Hepatitis C Insurance Scheme provides access to life assurance, mortgage protection and travel insurance for people infected with Hepatitis C and/or HIV because they were given contaminated blood or blood products.
Under this scheme a person requiring insurance will pay the average basic premium which an uninfected person of the same age and gender would pay. The scheme pays the additional premiums levied or covers the additional risks that would otherwise prevent a policy being taken out.
The Hepatitis C Insurance Scheme is set up under the Hepatitis C Compensation Tribunal (Amendment) Act (No.22) of 2006 (pdf).
If you have contracted Hepatitis C directly or indirectly through the administration in Ireland of Human Immunoglobulin-Anti-D or another blood product or a blood transfusion, you can apply for a Health Amendment Act (HAA) Card.
The HAA Card entitles you to the following services, free of charge.
- General practitioner services
- Prescribed drugs and medicines and medical and surgical aids and appliances
- Home nursing and home support services
- Dental, ophthalmic and aural services and appliances
- Physiotherapy services
- Counselling services for both you and your family
- Such other services as may be prescribed by the Minister for Health.
This is an individual entitlement for the person with Hepatitis C. However, dependants are entitled to a free counselling in respect of Hepatitis C.
These counselling services are provided by private practitioners, by arrangement between you and the Health Service Executive (HSE).
You are entitled to these services free of charge even if you require them for non-Hepatitis C-related illnesses. All GPs are eligible to provide services. You do not have to choose a GP who is part of the Primary Care Re-imbursement Service.
Home support services can be provided by the home help service in the HSE. If you are considered to be in need of home help services, the HSE may provide the service directly or you may make your own arrangements. If you make your own arrangements, you are the employer of the home help and you are responsible for your employee's PRSI and Tax. The HSE pays a contribution to the costs involved.
Dental, ophthalmic and aural services are provided on broadly the same basis for medical card holders. However, there are more favourable arrangements for HAA Card holders.
You can get hearing aids and aural services by arrangement with the HSE.
The HSE arranges for the supply of medical and surgical appliances that are
not available from a pharmacist.
How to apply
Your entitlement to these services lasts for life. Further details on entitlements and how to access them will be provided by the Hepatitis C Liaison Officer in your Local Health Office. Entitlements are also set out in the Information Guide to Primary Care and Hospital Services (pdf).
Further details on entitlements and how to access them and a
leaflet on living with Hepatitis C (pdf) can from be found on the website
of the Consultative Council on
Hepatitis C. You can find more information
about issues related to Hepatitis C on hepinfo.ie.
Where to apply
Further information on Hepatitis C and Health Amendment Act Cards is available from:
National Hepatitis C Office
Health Service Executive,
Tel:(01) 620 1750 or (01) 620 1712
Information in connection with the Hepatitis C Insurance Scheme is available from:
Hepatitis C Insurance Scheme
Health Service Executive
Tel:(01) 620 1660
Locall:1850 211 570