Survivors of Magdalene laundries who have accepted offers of redress from the State are to receive special medical cards which will entitle them to free primary and community health services.

A joint announcement by Minster for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and Minister of State for Primary and Social Care, Kathleen Lynch said the women would be entitled to use the services from 1 July.

Under the scheme, the HSE will make available free GP services, prescribed drugs, medicines, aids and appliances, dental, ophthalmic and aural services, home nursing and support, chiropody/podiatry, physiotherapy and counselling services.

The ministers' statement said the HSE would also provide further information directly to the women about the health benefits.

"The Government has given its commitment to implementing all of the recommendations made by Mr Justice Quirke in his report on the Magdalene Laundries,” said Ms Fitzgerald.

“The Government has already set up a range of payments and supports for the women who worked in these institutions.

“Payments of up to €100,000 are being made to these women, depending on their length of stay in the laundries. In addition, the Department of Social Protection is making pension-type payments to these women."

Ms Lynch said she hoped that clarity on the date from which the services would apply would provide reassurance.

“In addition, the ex-gratia payments received from the Minister for Justice and Equality will not be included in the assessment of means under the medical card scheme or the 'Fair Deal' scheme."