Dáil Éireann - Volume 602 - 11 May, 2005

Written Answers. - Medical Cards.

  160. Mr. N. O’Keeffe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children if a person from the UK who has resided in the UK all their life, who is in receipt of a contributory pension from the DHSS and is proposing to retire and live here on a full time basis, is entitled to apply for a medical card from the HSE. [15531/05]

  Ms Harney: Under EU regulations, 1408/71, persons taking up permanent residence in Ireland who are in receipt of a social security pension from another EU member state, who are not in receipt of an Irish Department of Social and Family Affairs pension, as either a recipient or dependant and who cannot be regarded as employed or self-employed in Ireland, are entitled to receive health services free of charge and are issued with a medical card.

For UK pensioners retiring to Ireland, it is necessary to produce proof of their social security pension and in addition the health board must be satisfied that they are not employed or self-employed — that is, subject to PRSI, have an income above a certain ceiling — in Ireland or in receipt of a payment from the Irish Department of Social and Family Affairs.

Where the EC regulations do not apply, persons with social security pensions from another EC member state are entitled to be assessed for medical cards by the Health Service Executive on the normal eligibility criteria.