GP Out of Hours Service
In Ireland, family doctors are called GPs (general practitioners). A GP is usually the first doctor that people see about non-emergency illnesses and health issues.
Most GPs work Monday to Friday but their opening hours can vary. If you need to see a GP outside clinic hours, you can contact your local GP Out of Hours service. This service does not provide routine clinic appointments. If your medical issue is not urgent, you should make an appointment to see your usual GP during clinic hours.
This document explains when and how you should use the GP Out of Hours service.
How does the GP Out of Hours service work?
You must make an appointment to use the GP Out of Hours Service. There is no drop-in facility.
The GP Out of Hours service is available at night and on weekends.
If you phone your GP outside normal working hours, you will usually get a recorded message with the contact details for your local GP Out of Hours service. The Health Service Executive (HSE) website also provides a list of phone numbers for the GP Out of Hours service.
When you ring the GP Out of Hours service, you will first speak to a nurse about your (or your child’s) symptoms. A nurse will clinically assess whether you need: nursing advice over the phone; an appointment with a GP; a house call; a referral to the Emergency Department; or an ambulance.
If it’s decided that you need an appointment with a GP, you will be asked to attend your appointment at a set time and place.
How much does GP Out of Hours service cost?
If you have a medical card or GP visit card you must bring your card with you otherwise you will be charged for the appointment.
If you do not have a medical card or GP visit card, you will be charged as a private patient. To find out exactly how much you will have to pay for a consultation you should contact your local GP Out of Hours service.
Contact your GP Out of Hours service
You can find contact details for your local service on the HSE list of GP Out of Hours services.