Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (741)

Alan Kelly

Question:

741. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if free sanitary products are being provided in all public hospitals; if not, his plans to do so; when they will be available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18886/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Period poverty is defined as the inability to afford female sanitary products and is a significant equality and equity concern.

A motion on period poverty, proposed by the cross-party Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, was passed in the Dáil on Wednesday, March 13th, 2019, and in the Seanad on Wednesday March 27th, 2019. Amongst other things, the motion called on the Government to provide a range of free, adequate, safe and suitable sanitary products and accompanying information, to be distributed throughout all public buildings.

It has been agreed that the best way to progress this matter is through the National Strategy for Women and Girls (NSWG) Strategy Committee, which is led by the Department of Justice and Equality and includes representation from across Government, the HSE, the National Women’s Council of Ireland and a number of NGOs.

It is envisaged that the issues raised will be discussed at the next meeting of the NSWG Strategy Committee, which is scheduled for June 11th, 2019.

As the provision of services in hospitals is an operational matter, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the HSE for direct response to him/her.