From today you will be able to apply for a medical card by taking pictures of the relevant documents and sending them online.
A new site - MedicalCard.ie - has been launched this morning.
The website will let people know straight away if they are eligible for a medical card and applications will be processed in 15 working days.
The Health Minister says it makes the applications process easier and will cut down on paperwork.
"This new service enables people for the first time to apply online for a Medical Card quickly and easily, using the HSE’s step by step guide," said Minister Harris.
"The service allows applicants to scan and upload documents and other information. Almost 440,000 applications were received by the National Medical Card Unit in 2017, so this new, streamlined service will bring great benefits for many people.
“This is a very welcome new development by the HSE and is part of the ongoing streamlining and modernisation of the operation of the medical card scheme.
"This puts the applicant at the centre of the process and I am sure will, in time, become the preferred method of application for many applicants, both first time and those seeking a renewal.
"I would urge anyone who needs to apply for a medical card to log on to the new system and see how easy it is."