Medical services and entitlements for asylum seekers

Medical cards

Your local health centre or Local Health Office can help you find a general practitioner (GP) and give you a medical card application form.

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:

Free health services

Some health services are free of charge even if you don’t have a medical card.

For example, all maternity services and immunisation services are free. Your local health centre or Local Health Office will advise you about getting access to these services in your area.

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.

Medical screening

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.

Page edited: 24 November 2022