The Maternity and Infant Care Scheme is open to all expectant mothers (who are ordinarily resident in Ireland) and care under this scheme may be obtained free of charge from any GP who has a contract for the provision of services under the scheme. Under the scheme, a GP attending a mother also provides care for the new-born baby and will provide two developmental examinations free of charge at 2 weeks and 6 weeks following the birth.
The baby's entitlement to other free GP services depends on whether the baby has a medical card or a GP Visit Card. This means that visits to the GP for any conditions related to the baby's health during this six week period or afterwards are not covered by the scheme unless the baby itself has a medical card/GP Visit Card. This is also the case for the HSE out of hours GP service where the service is free for holders of a medical card or a GP Visit Card.