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.
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
- Cerebral palsy
- Cystic fibrosis
- Multiple sclerosis
- Spina bifida
- Muscular dystrophies
- 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.