In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, patient in-person contact with GPs has been curtailed as much as possible to help prevent the spread of the virus. Nurse and doctor advice is provided over the phone where appropriate, and only patients who are clinically assessed as requiring a face to face consultation with a doctor are referred for an appointment.
Under the GMS scheme, the HSE contracts GPs to provide medical services without charge to medical card and GP visit card holders. GPs are reimbursed by the HSE for the provision of those services. Medical and GP visit card holders are not subject to a charge for GP face to face or phone consultations.
People who do not hold a medical card or GP visit card access GP services on a private basis, including non-Covid-19 related face to face and phone consultations. Fees charged by GPs for privately provided services are a matter of private contract between the clinicians and their patients.