Care during pregnancy is provided free-of-charge to any persons ordinarily resident in Ireland under the Maternity & Infant Care Scheme.
Ordinarily Resident means anyone who is living in Ireland or who intends to remain in Ireland for at least one year. You do not need to have a PPS Number or be paying PRSI to be eligible nor do you need to be a Medical Card or Doctor Visit card holder.
The Maternity & Infant Care Scheme is programme of care provided by a GP of your choice and an obstetrician in your local hospital.
The scheme provides for a number of scheduled visits to your GP and your Maternity Hospital. The initial visit should be with your GP before 12 weeks. In reality, this is usually the visit when your GP confirms your pregnancy, soon after you have missed a period or done a positive test yourself. The GP then sends a referral letter to the hospital for shared care, and will advise you when the other visits are.
It is important to note that these visits do not allow for care for other illnesses which you may have which are not related directly to your pregnancy.
Our normal consultation charges will apply in such cases.
You are also entitled to free public in-patient and out-patient hospital services for any conditions related to your pregnancy and the birth and are not liable for the standard hospital in-patient fees.
Don't worry about getting the application forms for the Maternity & Infant Care Scheme. We have all the paperwork in the surgery and will go through it all with you on the initial visit. There is no charge for this first visit.
Under the Maternity & Infant Care Scheme your new baby will also have 2 free developmental check-ups from one of our GPs. These checks are at 2 weeks and 6 weeks.
The 2 week check is just for your baby and the 6 week check is for you both. The 6 week check-up requires a double appointment so please advise Michelle on the desk when you are booking.
The Public Health Nurse will also visit the baby at home during the first 6 weeks. This service is free-of-charge and will usually be organised before you and your baby go home from hospital after the birth.
After the 6 week visit, your baby is not entitled to any more visits free-of-charge, even if you are a Medical Card patient. You will need to apply for a Medical Card for your baby as soon as you have their PPS number.
We can help you with this application. Just ask at the front desk.
You can attend a free course of antenatal classes during your pregnancy, usually once a week for four consecutive weeks around the 7th or 8th month of pregnancy. These classes help prepare you for the huge change to your life that lies ahead but they book up quickly so you should book your place early (even before your first hospital visit). You will receive information about them with details of your hospital appointment. There is also a class in early pregnancy.
If you can't make the free hospital antenatal classes there are some private ante-natal classes available in Galway but you'll need to Google for up-to-date details as these classes are not run by GBMC.