I’ve heard that young children can now visit the doctor for free but that they have to get a GP visit card. How do I get a card for my child?
Answer (July 2015)
From 1 July 2015, children under the age of six are entitled to free visits to a GP (family doctor) that is taking part in the free GP care for children under six scheme. All children aged under six who live in Ireland or who intend to live in Ireland for at least one year are eligible.
To get a GP visit card for children aged under six, you must register your child. To register, you will need:
- Your Personal Public Service Number (PPSN)
- The PPSN of each child
- Your choice of participating GP
You are sent your child’s PPSN when you register their birth. If you do not have a PPSN for your child, contact Client Identity Services in the Department of Social Protection on Lo-call 1890 927 999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If your baby is under two months of age and you don’t have a PPSN yet, you can register and leave the PPSN blank and the HSE will write to you separately to get it.
You can get a list of GPs who are taking part in the scheme at gpvisitcard.ie. The list also tells you whether your chosen GP accepts online registrations. If they do, you can apply online at gpvisitcard.ie. If a GP doesn’t accept online registrations, or if you prefer to use a paper form, you can download the registration form from gpvisitcard.ie, bring it to the GP to sign, and then send it to: GP Visit Card – Under 6s, PO Box 12629, Dublin 11.
Your child will be included in this scheme until the end of the month of their sixth birthday. The expiry date is shown on the card. You will be notified approximately three months before it is due to expire.
The card covers free GP visits, including home visits and out of hours, urgent GP care. It does not cover visits to hospital emergency departments.
If you have any questions about registering for the scheme, you can phone Lo-call 1890 252 919.
Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.
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