MEP for Ireland South Grace O’Sullivan stated that this would be the first step towards making universal free contraception a cornerstone of women’s healthcare in Ireland
The rollout of a free contraception scheme for women aged 17 – 25 is now being implemented across the country, with eligible candidates in Ireland South being able to apply through their GP, local pharmacy, primary care centre, family planning centre or student health clinics. As part of the Programme for Government, contraception will now be provided on a phased basis, with this first age cohort being set to benefit with an annual saving of up to €470.
Ireland South MEP Grace O’Sullivan welcomed the rollout, which was led by Green Party Senator Pauine O’Reilly and has been a long-standing policy for the party. “For too long the Irish health system has not acknowledged the extra, unavoidable costs that many women and those who menstruate face in terms of their healthcare. While there is much more to be done on this, this is a strong statement to our young women about what they can and should expect from a progressive Ireland, and it should alleviate some financial pressure on this age group in particular” O’Sullivan said.
The new scheme covers the cost of prescription contraception, including the cost of consultations with medical professionals and the costs associated with fitting/removing various types of long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs).
Information regarding the scheme will be available through the HSE’s www.sexualwellbeing.ie website. This information will be regularly updated and will provide full details of how to access the scheme.