Question: I have a medical card but my doctor has recently charged me for a medical certificate and for a blood test? Should I have to pay for these or should they be covered by the medical card?
Doctors provide services to medical card holders under the General Medical Scheme (GMS). This means that they have a contract for these services with the Health Service Executive (HSE). The services provided include consultations with patients and necessary treatments that would normally be provided by a general practitioner (GP). GPs also provide prescriptions for drugs, medicines and appliances as required.
Not all GP services are covered under the agreement. For example, if you need a medical report for a driving licence application you may be charged. You may also be charged for medical certificates for absence from work. If you need a medical report to apply for a social welfare payment, the Department of Social Protection may cover the fee.
If you have a medical card or a GP visit card and you need a blood test to diagnose or monitor a condition, this should be provided free of charge. If you have been charged for a blood test by your doctor, you can complain to the HSE. The HSE deals with these complaints on a case by case basis and will arrange for a refund, where appropriate. You make a complaint by contacting your Local Health Office.
Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.
Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330
Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service - 0761 07 4000