Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (792)

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

792. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the terms of reference and membership of the working group on contraception; if the group will examine the free provision of long-acting, reversible contraceptives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13502/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Working Group will consider the range of policy, regulatory and legislative issues arising in relation to improving access to contraception.  

The following draft Terms of Reference (ToR) have been developed:   

- To conduct a rapid review of national and international literature on contraception and associated issues;

- To specifically examine the extent to which cost is a barrier to accessing reliable methods of contraception in Ireland and to consider whether there are other factors influencing access to contraception that could be addressed;

- To examine mechanisms to address any access issues identified, including financial, legislative, regulatory and contractual issues, as well as any other relevant matters;

- To consult with relevant stakeholders; and

- To make recommendations to the Minister on the optimal policy options and next steps.

These ToR will enable the group to consider issues relating to the provision of long acting reversible contraception.

Membership of the group is due to be finalised shortly and will consist of officials from relevant policy areas within the Department of Health.  The group will also draw on appropriate advice and expertise from the HSE and other relevant stakeholders as necessary.  The group is scheduled to begin its work in April 2019.