Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (1929)

Alan Kelly

Question:

1929. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the detailed costings determined to date by his Department for the introduction and operation of a free contraception service; the details and documentation of the analysis and research conducted on the way in which such a service would be provided and operated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34367/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

A Working Group has been established to  consider the range of policy, regulatory and legislative issues arising in relation to improving access to contraception.  The group is working to the following Terms of Reference:

- 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.

A public consultation process is ongoing, and the Group is also engaged in research, including consideration of potential cost issues.  The Group will continue its deliberations over the coming weeks before reporting to the Minister at the end of September.