In acknowledgement of the Government commitments to promote women’s health, Budget 2021 included a new dedicated €5m Women’s Health Fund to implement a programme of priority actions arising from the work of the Women’s Health Taskforce. Budget 2022 builds on this, providing continued investment with an additional €5m for the Women’s Health Fund.
To date the Fund has supported several initiatives including a dedicated specialist menopause clinic, two community-based ‘see and treat’ gynaecology clinics, as well as the expansions of the endometriosis service at Tallaght University Hospital and the Pelvic Floor Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital. Additional resources have also been funded for paediatric gynaecology services, specialist perinatal mental health services and eating disorder support teams among others.
Priority programmes for Women’s Health are reviewed and updated biennially as part of an action planning process. The Women’s Health Fund 2022 will support implementation of the actions as set out in the Women’s Health Action Plan 2022/2023, which will be published in the coming weeks. The additional investment for 2022 means that this action plan is fully funded for 2022.
The Fund is held and managed by the Department. This enables the Department to target additional investment in new initiatives aligned with the Women’s Health Action Plan as a means of seed-funding innovations or accelerating implementation. For this reason, in its first year the Fund did not include a public ‘call for applications’ process although this may be considered as part of the 2022 process for the administration of part of the Fund.