The eligibility for medical cards has been extended to include those who are terminally ill.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly announced the decision today after the government backed the move.
People who have a terminal illness and have a prognosis of up to 24 months will now be entitled to the card.
The new rules will apply to patients with diagnoses across a range of specialties such as neurology, cardiology and oncology.
Sligo/Leitrim Deputy and Minister of State Frank Feighan says this was an issue that had been raised repeatedly with politicians.