Medical services and entitlements for asylum seekers
The Local Health Office in the area where you are living will provide for your medical needs.
Your local health centre or Local Health Office can help you find a general practitioner (GP) and provide you with 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 under the Medical Card Scheme include:
- General Practitioner (local doctor) services
- Hospital in-patientand out-patient services (as a public patient)
- Prescriptions/medicines (with some exceptions)
- Women's health services
- Psychological services for those traumatised by torture, rape or other critical life experiences
- Optical tests and glasses
- Hearing tests and hearing aids
- Dental treatment for adults
- Where defects have been noted at school medical examinations, dental treatment for children.
Other health services available free of charge are maternity services, immunisation services and health screening.Your local health centre or Local Health Office will advise you about getting access to these services in your resettlement 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.
A free medical screening service is available to all asylum seekers.
This service is completely confidential and independent of your application for international protection (refugee status or subsidiary protection).
The service includes screening for certain infectious diseases such as TB, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV and checking the vaccination needs of you and your family. The outcome of any medical tests you undergo will not affect your application for a declaration of a refugee status in any way. There are a number of reasons why you are advised to avail of medical screening. The screening will identify and treat those who are ill and provide protection against infectious diseases through immunisation.
Any necessary follow-up medical treatment will be provided for you and your family free of charge under the medical card scheme.
It is in your interest to avail of this service and you can be assured that this service is provided to you and your family in complete confidence.