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GP Services in Ireland

General Practitioner (GP) is the official term for the doctor who provides services to people in his/her surgery or in the patient’s home. Most people simply refer to GPs as their doctor or family doctor.

Source: – Citizens Information – GP services

GPs provide services free of charge to medical card holders. Visits by GP Visit Card holders are also free of charge, but other services may not be. They also provide maternity and infant welfare services and services to certain people with Hepatitis C free of charge. Other patients must pay for GP services.

A qualified doctor may set up in General Practice provided he/she meets all the requirements of the Irish Medical Council, which is the regulatory body for doctors. Some doctors then enter into contracts with Health Service Executive (HSE) to provide GP services to medical card holders.

Some doctors only cater for private patients. Most doctors who cater only for private patients provide services to them on behalf of the HSE Area such as maternity and infant welfare services and vaccinations.

The Citizens Information website, on the GP services page , contains the following useful information:

  • GP services to medical card holders
  • GP and Pharmacy Services – Introduction
  • GPs and Private Patients

GP Out of Hours

This service operates for people who need to access a GP outside their own GP opening hours. Services usually operate from 6pm – 10pm Monday – Friday and 10am to 6pm at the weekends. For further information please visit HSE – Out of Hours

Cross-Border GP Out of Hours

Cooperation and Working Together (CAWT), the cross border Health Services partnership secured EU funding to pilot two cross border GP Out-of-Hours services in the South Armagh and Donegal border regions. These pilots were established to facilitate patients who wish to have access to health services closer to their home, even though those services are in another jurisdiction.

People living in border areas of Donegal and Derry and South Armagh and Castleblayney can avail of urgent GP Out-of-Hours services in the other jurisdiction.

For further information please visit HSCNI – Cross-border GP Out-of-hours or

Frontier workers

If you live in one jurisdiction and work in another you may be eligible for healthcare both where you live and where you work.

For further information please visit BorderPeople / Healthcare for Frontier workers

See also: