What GPs make out of the medical card scheme:
* Family doctors get a set fee for every medical card patient they see, including allowances for treating patients outside of normal surgery hours. The fees range from €74.59 for a child under five to €271.62 for those over the age of 70 residing in the community.
* They can claim allowances for the cost of hiring locums for holiday or sick leave cover of €197 a day. They are also entitled to claim it for study leave.
* They get €13.88 in out-of-hours payment for seeing a patient between 8am and 9am and 5pm and 6pm.
* They are entitled to an out-of-hours allowance of €41.63 for seeing patients after 6pm.
* Rural GPs receive a rural practice allowance of €16,000.
* GPs agreed to a number of reductions in fees in recent years. According to most recent figures, they were paid €442.6m in 2011, compared with €465.5m in 2010.
Since last year, GPs are allowed to access the medical card system to extend the eligibility for medical card holders, to register births to people on the medical card list or to register the death of a medical card patient.