Press Release

Ministers Harris and McGrath welcome the opening of registration for medical cards for 10,000 children with disabilities

Minister for Health Simon Harris together with Minister of State for Disabilities Finian McGrath today welcomed the opening of the registration period to apply for a medical card for all children in respect of whom the Domiciliary Care Allowance is paid.

The Health (Amendment) Act 2017 provides for the granting of a medical card to all children in respect of whom a Domiciliary Care Allowance is made. This will benefit approximately 9,800 children in this cohort who do not currently qualify for a medical card. This will result in over 33,000 children now being eligible for a full medical card.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said, “This legislation, which was passed in March of this year, was an important milestone for children with a disability and their families; I am delighted that the Government has delivered on this commitment which is supporting the most vulnerable in society”. Minister Harris urged all parents and guardians of eligible children who do not currently hold a medical card or GP Visit Card to avail of the registration process early, either online at or by paper application form so that medical cards can be certified for use from 1 June.

Minister of State Finian McGrath added “This is a significant day for the parents and guardians of children with disabilities. I have met many people during my tenure as Minister of State for Disabilities and I am acutely aware of the daily struggles that they face. Provision of these medical cards will go some way to help to alleviate the stress and anxiety of parents and guardians who are dealing with the medical costs associated with a child’s disability. “

Notes to Editors

How to Apply:

Parents/Guardians can apply for a medical card in the following manner:

• Online – at – selecting the Medical Card (DCA) tab


• Complete a Registration Form and return it to:
The National Medical Card Unit,
PO Box 11745
Business Reply
Dublin 11
D11 XKF3

Registration forms can be downloaded from or forms will be available from local health offices, citizen information centres or, by calling 1890 252 919.

Who Should Register for the Scheme:

• A child in respect of whom a DCA is payable, who is ordinarily resident in Ireland and who does not have Medical Card or GP Visit Card eligibility should be registered on this scheme.

• A child in respect of whom the DCA is payable who has Medical Card or GP Visit Card eligibility does not need to register as the child will be automatically registered for Medical Card eligibility for a period of 6 years, or until the child’s sixteenth birthday, whichever is earlier.