Health

Budget 2023 sees free contraception scheme extended

The measure expands upon the scheme announced earlier this month.

By Rebecca Lenihan

The Free Contraception scheme is to be extended to people aged up to 30.

Preliminary Budget 2023 releases announced that the scheme, originally launched by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly on September 14th for people aged 17-25, will now be extended upwards.

The scheme will provide free contraception, such as the pill and the coil and also covers GP visits. Hospital inpatient charges have been scrapped, meaning those who don’t have a medical card can now avail of this scheme too.

The initial scheme has been met with a positive reaction, with over 100 GPs signing a document with their approval for this new initiative. It has also been announced today that women will also be able to avail of the first publicly funded IVF treatment, which will be provided from 2023.

In other health related news from The Budget 2023 sees the Drug Payment Scheme to remain at the low rate of €80 meaning people and their families will only have to pay a maximum of €80 for their prescribed drugs and medicines as well as certain appliances.

However, the scheme has been criticised for failing to extend to people without a medical card, who face huge fees to avail of contraception and gynaecological health care.

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