Health service updates and information

HSE gives tips for safe celebrations ahead of Leaving Certificate results announcement

The HSE is encouraging parents and students to discuss and plan for safe celebrations of the Leaving Certificate exam results today. After some challenging years where students have studied through the COVID pandemic, many will want to celebrate with friends and family, and rightly so.

The HSE is advising parents to have a brief, focused conversation about personal safety and alcohol and drug use with young people prior to their exam celebrations. AskAboutAlcohol.ie provides supports for parents and young people including advice, facts and resources to help stay safe and be smart around alcohol. These include information about Alcohol and Health and tips for parents when communicating with young people.

For more information and supports please see www.AskAboutAlcohol.ie and for information on other drugs visit www.drugs.ie.

Free webinar to mark International Overdose Awareness Day

Join us for a free live webinar hosted by the HSE Social Inclusion Office, marking International Overdose Day 2023.

The theme, “Recognising Those People Who Go Unseen,” shines a light on the often-unseen heroes among us: grieving families, compassionate healthcare and support service workers, and spontaneous first responders.

The event will include presentations on a range of topics including living with bereavement by drug-related deaths, advancing addiction recovery, UISCE’s ‘Now you see me’ campaign videos and an update on the HSE naloxone programme.

Don’t miss this opportunity to support those affected most by overdose.

Register here for this online event on Thursday 31st of August from 1:30-3pm.

GP Visit Cards for children Under 8

All children aged 0-7 can now get a GP Visit Card, which means free GP care for all children under 8 living in Ireland. Previously, this was available for all children under 6. The expansion will provide free GP care to an estimated 78,000 children aged 6 and 7. Current GP visit cards for children will automatically be extended until their 8th birthday.

If you have a GP visit card, you don’t have to pay to see your doctor. You will have to pay for medicines and other services.

Parents can register children for a GP visit card at hse.ie. If a child turns 6 on or after 1 July 2023, and already has a GP Visit Card, their card will automatically be extended by the HSE and they don’t need to register.

If people or a family already have a medical card for their child, they don’t need to register for this service. The medical card already provides free GP visits, along with other benefits.

If you need more information, please visit www.hse.ie/GPVisitCards.

SunSmart Campaign 2023

Whether you’re at home or abroad you can protect your skin by following the 5 SunSmart steps:

Slip on long loose clothing
Slop on the sunscreen
Slap on a wide-brimmed hat
Seek shade even when it’s cloudy
Slide on sunglasses
Ads on radio and digital audio will finish on the 31st of August but you can still promote the campaign for any sunny (and cloudy) days ahead. You can find campaign materials and more information on the HSE SunSmart page.

Water safety for children

Water play can be fun and refreshing for children, but safety should always come first. Read our advice on water safety for children this summer here.

Pregnancy, baby and toddler health on mychild.ie

Look out for a TV ad in August about the HSE’s pregnancy and child health website and series of books written by healthcare professionals for parents-to-be and parents of young children. The information grows with you and your little one – from pregnancy and birth, to taking care of newborns and toddlers. Developed with parents, the site has almost 500 pages of advice on pregnancy, baby and toddler health with millions of visits each year. Find expert advice for every step at mychild.ie


For information and advice, please go to https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/covid19/ and https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/. Clinical and professional guidance relating to COVID-19 is available on www.hpsc.ie.

Health service information for Ukrainian nationals

Updated mental health supports information is here
Disability services information is here
Healthcare services information is here
COVID-19 information is here
COVID-19 vaccination video, Dr Oksana Kozdoba, a Pediatrician from Ukraine, shares information about the vaccination programme in Ireland. She covers the vaccines offered in Ireland to protect babies, school children and adults.