GP visit cards for children under 8
What is the GP visit card for children?
If your child is under the age of 8, you can get a GP visit card for them. With the GP visit card, your child can visit a participating GP (family doctor) for free and get free specific assessments (see ‘What is covered’ below).
Children aged 6 and 7 now qualify
The GP visit card for children was initially only available for children under the age of 6. On 11 August 2023, it was extended to children who are 6 and 7. If your child is 6 or 7, you can register online for a GP visit card for them.
If your child turned 6 after 1 July 2023, their GP visit card will be extended automatically by the HSE and you do not need to register again.
If your child already has a medical card, you do not need to register them for a GP visit card. If your family circumstances change and you are no longer eligible for medical cards, you can then register your child for a GP visit card for children under 8.
What is covered by the GP visit card for children?
Free GP visits include visits to the doctor, home visits and out-of-hours urgent GP visits for your child.
Free medical assessments for children aged 2 and 5
If your child has a GP visit card, they can get free medical assessments when they are aged 2 and 5. These are preventive checks that include charting your child’s age, weight and height, and taking any appropriate follow-up actions.
Checks for children with asthma
If your child has asthma, they will get free asthma checks and their medication reviewed, to make sure that they are using their inhalers correctly. You will also get a written plan to help you manage your child’s asthma.
Children over 2 will get their first free asthma check when they are diagnosed. The second check is arranged 3 months after their first check.
Your child’s asthma will be checked for free every year until they are 8.
What is not covered by the GP visit card for children under 8?
The GP visit card does not cover medicines or hospital care.
However, all in-patient hospital services are free for children under 16 in all public hospitals. Read more about hospital charges for children.
If you have a Drugs Payment Scheme card, you and your family only have to pay a maximum of €80 each month for drugs and medicines. This includes the medicines your child may be prescribed.
Can my child get a free GP visit card?
Your child can get a free GP visit card if they are:
- Aged under 8 years
- Ordinarily resident in Ireland
‘Ordinarily resident’ means your child currently lives in Ireland and intends to live in Ireland for at least one year.
When does the GP visit card expire for children?
Your child is included in the scheme until the end of the month of their 8th birthday. For example, if your child turns 8 in July, their card will expire on 31 July. The card shows the date that it is valid until.
How to apply for a GP visit card for children
If you have any questions before registering, you can phone Lo-call 0818 22 44 78.
To register, you will need:
- Your Personal Public Service (PPS) number
- The child's PPS number (see below)
- Your choice of participating GP
Your child’s PPS number
You are sent your child’s PPS number after registering their birth. If you do not have a PPS number for your child, contact Client Identity Services in the Department of Social Protection on Lo-call 0818 927 999, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you do not have a PPS number and your baby is under 2 months of age, you can register and leave the PPS number blank and the HSE will write to you separately to get it.
Choosing your family doctor (GP)
Check if your GP is taking part in the scheme (pdf). You may also need to check if your chosen GP is accepting new patients. If they are not, you must pick another GP. You can also check if they are accepting online applications on that list.
Apply by post or email
If a GP does not accept online registrations, or if you want to post or email the form, you can download the GP Visit Card for under 8s Registration Form (pdf) bring it to the GP to sign, and then email it to email@example.com or post it to:
Before you register online, check this list to see if your chosen GP accepts online registrations. Then you can apply on the HSE website.
After you apply, you will get an email with a copy of your child’s registration details attached.
Print this email attachment, bring it to your GP to sign and then post it to:
Lost GP visit card
If you have lost your card you can request a replacement by phoning Lo-call 0818 22 44 78 or emailing ClientRegistration@hse.ie. Include your child’s name, address and date of birth.