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Free GP care extended to children aged 6 and 7

August 11th, 2023

I'm delighted to share the news today that the Minister for Health has announced the opening of registrations for GP visit cards for children aged 6 and 7, and I would encourage families in Carlow Kilkenny who can avail of this scheme to apply now.

From today, Friday 11 August 2023, the Under 6s GP Visit Card scheme has been expanded to become the Under 8s GP Visit Card scheme, which means the scheme is now providing free GP care for all children aged under 8 in Ireland. The move represents the first stage in the biggest expansion in eligibility for free GP care in the history of the state covering up to 500,000 people.

Parents can now register children aged 6 and 7 for a GP visit card at, but for many families there will be no need to register, as children who turned 6 after 1 July 2023 will have their cards extended automatically by the HSE.

This expansion is going to provide free GP care to approximately 78,000 children aged 6 and 7 across Ireland who currently access GP care on a private basis. This will ensure that cost is not a barrier to accessing healthcare and the expansion of this scheme will provide vital support to families dealing with cost of living challenges. As a government we are committed to making healthcare affordable for families, and to ensuring in particular that cost will not be a barrier for children’s healthcare.

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