15 January 2017, The Irish Times
Patients will in future be able to apply online for a medical card under a new initiative to be launched by the Minister for Health Simon Harris on Monday.
An online system operated by the Health Service Executive will seek to guide applicants step-by-step through the process for acquiring a medical card.
Applicants can submit all supporting documentation digitally, including photographs, while GPs will also be able to accept patients on to their panel via the online system, the Department of Health said.
The department said that once financial details were submitted as part of the online application, “we will tell you straight away if you qualify for a medical card”. It said complete applications will be processed in 15 working days.
Mr Harris said the new service would enable people for the first time to apply online for a medical card quickly and easily.
“Almost 440,000 applications were received by the National Medical Card Unit in 2017, so this new, streamlined service will bring great benefits for many people.
“This is a very welcome new development by the HSE and is part of the ongoing streamlining and modernisation of the operation of the medical card scheme. This puts the applicant at the centre of the process and I am sure will, in time, become the preferred method of application for many applicants, both first time and those seeking a renewal. I would urge anyone who needs to apply for a medical card to log on to the new system and see how easy it is.”