The Hardship Scheme – for full Medical Card holders

The Hardship Scheme is available to people with a medical card. This allows you to access prescribed medical supplies, that are not directly available through the medical card scheme.

Medical card holders who are prescribed items that are not on the PCRS list can apply to have them covered under a discretionary hardship scheme.

If you have a medical card and an item on your prescription is not covered by the PCRS, your pharmacist can apply on your behalf to the Local Health Office to have the item covered by the hardship scheme.

If the hardship scheme does not cover the medicine and you have to pay for it, you may want to check with your doctor to see if there is an alternative. You can get more information about the scheme from your pharmacist.

Unfortunately, Spinal Injuries Ireland has been informed by the HSE that Health Offices are not obliged to fund this scheme and will only do so if they have the funds to. What’s more, some parts of the country don’t have the funds for this.

The HSE/GMS (Hardship) Assistance Application Form can be downloaded here.


The “12-Item Medical List” – for DPS and GP Visit Only Card holders

An alternative for SII service users who are availing of the DPS scheme and who do NOT have a full medical card is the “12-Item Medical List”.

Items on “The 12-Item Medical List” are not ordinarily covered under the DPS scheme however SII service users with spinal cord injuries are entitled to them if needed and prescribed.

*** Medical card holders may also be entitled to these items separately through the HSE Hardship Scheme – see above.

The items currently on the list are as follows:

  1. KY Jelly
  2. Glycerine Suppositories
  3. Incontinence Sheets (for manual evacuation only)
  4. Non–Sterile Disposable Gloves
  5. Wipes
  6. Urethral Catheters
  7. All Silicone Urethral Catheters
  8. Urinary Incontinence Sheaths (urinary condom drainage)
  9. Leg Bags
  10. Overnight Drainage Bags (2–litre)
  11. Strapping
  12. Gauze Dressing

How to apply

If you are on the Drugs Payment Scheme and not receiving the 12 items, you need to notify us here at Spinal Injuries Ireland so that we can notify the Drugs Payment Board.

The Drugs Payment Board will then send you a form to complete and return. Your pharmacist will then be notified that you are entitled to the items on the list as part of the Drugs Payment Scheme.

*** Please note that entitlement to these items is part of the €114 outlined on the drugs payment scheme. If your total monthly pharmacy bill does not amount to €114, you will not receive these items free of charge.

***Certain items that can be bought over the counter are excluded from both schemes. Examples of such products are vitamin supplements, products for the treatment of baldness, and some painkillers, such as Panadol, Disprin, Solpadeine and Nurofen.

Get in touch now if you would like more information.

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