Medical services and entitlements for asylum seekers
The medical card gives you and your family access to medical services free of charge. If you do not apply for and receive a medical card, you will be asked to pay for certain medical services. Services available free of charge or at low cost under the Medical Card Scheme include:
- General Practitioner (local doctor) services
- Hospital in-patient and out-patient services (as a public patient)
- Prescription medicines (with some exceptions)
- Women's health services
- Psychological services for people traumatised by torture, rape or other critical life experiences
- Sight tests and glasses
- Hearing tests and hearing aids
- Dental treatment for adults
- If your child is referred after a school medical examinations, dental treatment for children.
Free health services
Some health services are free of charge even if you don’t have a medical card.
A Local Health Office may have waiting lists for these services and may have to give priority on the basis of medical need.
If you are pregnant or have small children, your GP may refer you to the local Public Health Nurse or you can contact the service directly yourself through your local health centre or Local Health Office.
A free medical screening service is available to all asylum seekers.
This service is confidential and independent of your application for international protection (refugee status or subsidiary protection).
The service includes screening for infectious diseases like TB, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV and checking the vaccination needs of you and your family.
Follow-up medical treatment, if you need it, will be provided for you and your family for free under the medical card scheme.