Changes to eligibility limits for medical cards for people over 70, announced in the Budget, have been voted through the second stage in the Dáil.

The Dáil debate on the Health (Alteration of Criteria for Eligibility) (No 2) Bill 2013 concluded at 7pm.

The Government won the vote with 79 TDs voting in favour and 46 TDs voting against.

It was announced in the Budget that the income limits for medical cards for people aged over 70 will reduce from €600 per week for a single person to €500 and from €1,200 for a couple to €900 per week.

GP visit cards will still be available to people aged over 70 with income of up to €700/€1,400 per week.

At the conclusion of a lengthy debate, Minister of State Alex White said: "This has been done in the best possible way in ensuring fairness."

He said 93% of people over 70 will still have free GP care.

The bill will now be referred to the Select Committee on Health.