Long-Term Illness Scheme


If you have a medical condition covered by the Long-Term Illness Scheme, you can get free drugs, medicines and medical and surgical appliances for the treatment of that condition.

You must be ordinarily resident in Ireland to qualify. This means that you are living here and intend to live here for at least one year. Students from outside the EU do not qualify for the Long-Term Illness Scheme.

The Long-Term Illness Scheme does not depend on your income or other circumstances. You may also be eligible for a Medical card or GP visit card, depending on your circumstances.

Rules for the Long-Term Illness Scheme

The medical conditions that qualify under the Long-Term Illness Scheme are:

  • Intellectual disability
  • Mental illness (for people under 16 only)
  • Diabetes insipidus
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Haemophilia
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Phenylketonuria
  • Epilepsy
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spina bifida
  • Muscular dystrophies
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Parkinsonism
  • Acute leukaemia
  • Conditions arising from use of Thalidomide

If you qualify, you will get a long-term illness card.

You do not have to pay a prescription charge for drugs you are approved for under the Long-Term Illness Scheme. Other drugs and medicines not related to the specified condition must be paid for in the normal way

If your doctor or occupational therapist prescribes a medical or surgical appliance, it will be supplied to you from your Local Health Office.

This scheme is administered by the Health Service Executive (HSE), under Section 59 of the Health Act 1970.

Drug Payment Scheme

If you don't have a medical card, or a GP visit card or a medical condition listed above, you can use the Drugs Payment Scheme to limit your expenses on prescription drugs.

How to apply for the Long-Term IllnessScheme

You can get an application form from your Local Health Office or download an application form (pdf).

You can also call 0818 22 44 78 to order an application form.

Further Information

Contact 0818 22 44 78 for more information about the Long-Term Illness Scheme.

Send your completed application form to:

Long Term Illness Scheme

Client Registration Unit

PO Box 12962
Dublin 11
D11 XKF3

Page edited: 28 January 2022