Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Questions (301)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

301. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health when the contraception working group within his Department which was due to commence in April 2019 will commence; if a chair and members have been appointed; if finalised terms of reference have been agreed; the stakeholders that will be engaged with; and when they will be engaged with. [22830/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Department of Health Working Group to examine the policy, regulatory and legislative issues related to improving access to contraception commenced its work on 30 April. The group, including the Chair, is comprised of officials from the relevant policy areas within the Department.

The group is working to a mandate agreed by the Minister to -

- Conduct a rapid review of the literature on contraception and associated issues;

- 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;

- Consider mechanisms to address any access issues identified;

- Consult with relevant stakeholders; and

- Make recommendations on the optimal policy options and next steps.

The group is currently developing its approach to stakeholder consultation. It is intended that the Group will report back to the Minister by end-September.