You will need a Medical Card to register with a family doctor or a dentist in Northern Ireland. You do not have to pay for a Medical Card
An NHS medical card is issued when you first register with a GP. It contains your NHS number and other information such as your name, address, date of birth, and details of your registered practice or individual doctor.
If you have never registered with a GP surgery, you will not have an NHS Number.
For information on how to register please visit Border People GP services in Northern Ireland
Entitlement to NHS
Entitlement to the NHS is usually based on residency in the UK.
Your entitlement to free NHS treatment depends on the length and purpose of your residence in the UK, not your nationality. There may be charges for some NHS services, for example, your dental treatment, and you may be entitled to help with these charges.
For further information please visit Border People NHS Entitlement
A NI (UK) medical card is entirely different to a ROI medical card. It is not means tested and is not linked to social welfare payments.
Health services and entitlements
‘Borderwise’ a cross border project between Citizens Advice in Northern Ireland and Citizens Information Board in Ireland has developed a set of cross-border information booklets, one of which details many health services and entitlements issues including:
- Organisation of health services
- Medical cards
- GP services
- Prescription charges
- Dental services
- Ophthalmic services
- Hospital services
If you live in one jurisdiction and work in another you may be eligible for health care both where you live and where you work.
For further information please see Border People Healthcare for frontier workers
If you are a UK state pensioner living not less than six months in the UK and not more than six months in another EEA member state each year, you will be exempt from NHS charges for while living in the UK, as long as you are not registered as resident in the other EEA member state. This exemption extends to your spouse/civil partner and children (under the age of 16, or 19 if in further education) as long as they are living in the UK with you on a permanent basis for your period of residence in the UK.
For further information please visit the National Health Service website – Information for overseas visitors to the UK *refers to England, but is relevant to Northern Ireland also*