Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Questions (246)

Stephen Donnelly


246. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the status of the work of the contraception working group in his Department; the finalised terms of reference; the timeline for completion of the work of the group; the consultation process; the stakeholders the group has engaged with to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28459/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Department’s Working Group commenced its work on 30 April and has since been engaged in consideration of the range of policy, regulatory and legislative issues arising in relation to improving access to contraception.

The following Terms of Reference have been adopted:

- 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.

The Working Group will seek written submissions from stakeholders and other interested parties and is currently developing a consultation questionnaire which, pending final testing, should commence shortly. Details of stakeholder engagement will be available once the Group has completed its work.

It is intended that the group will report to the Minister at the end of September 2019.