Medical cards help eligible people access certain medical supports for free. 

International protections applicants are generally entitled to medical cards.

This video explains what the Medical Card is, who is eligible and how to apply.

How to apply?

You can apply online via the HSE website. Before completing the online application form, you will have to create a HSE account here

You can also print the application form and send it by email to [email protected] or by post to  The Eligibility Unit, PO Box 11745, Dublin 11.

Do I need to register with a GP before applying?

Before applying for a medical card, you will need to find a GP (doctor) to accept you as a patient.

If the GPs in your local area are full and cannot accept you as a patient, please include a cover letter in your application, where you list 3 GPs that did not accept you. Please see example an below. 

I have not been able to find a GP in my local area to accept me as a patient. 

Here are the details of 3 GPs I asked:

  1. Name, address
  2. Name, address
  3. Name, address

I kindly ask the HSE to allocate me a GP. 

I am international protection applicant living outside of IPAS accommodation, am I entitled to a medical card? 

Generally, yes but you will need to demonstrate your income as part of your application. This can be complicated because you are likely not receiving a weekly social welfare payment (the DEA).

If you are not working, you can try providing a bank statement.


If you have any questions, please contact our Information & Advocacy Service, we will get get back to you as soon as we can.