Press Release

Minister Harris welcomes agreement on a contract for provision of termination of pregnancy services in community settings

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, today welcomed the agreement with the Irish Medical Organisation on a contract for the provision of termination of pregnancy services in community settings. The majority of terminations up to nine weeks gestation will take place in community settings.

This contract will be offered by the HSE to medical practitioners who express an interest in providing such services.

Minister Harris said “The agreement of this contract is a significant step in the detailed preparations for the introduction of termination of pregnancy services at the beginning of January. It enables the HSE to offer the contract in sufficient time for doctors to consider its terms and, if they wish to take up the contract, to advise the HSE of this. I would like to acknowledge the constructive engagement by the IMO on this sensitive issue.”

The Minister has separately approved the fees that will be payable to health contractors providing termination of pregnancy services in the community. The fees are as follows:

Patient’s first consultation – €150

Combined termination procedure and aftercare – €300

ENDS

Notes to the Editor

Brief description of service – terminations up to nine weeks gestation

In line with the provisions in the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018, a termination will involve two visits to a medical practitioner. The service will also include a third visit for aftercare.

At the first visit the medical practitioner will confirm the pregnancy, offer advice and information and certify that the pregnancy has not exceeded twelve weeks gestation.

Following the three-day waiting period, a second visit will be required at which the medical practitioner will obtain consent, provide information on the procedure, possible complications and advice on contraception, administer the first medication and supply the second medication to the patient to be taken at home.

At the third visit, which will be optional for the woman, the medical practitioner will confirm that the termination is complete and provide an aftercare consultation.

Communicating with medical practitioners

In coming days the HSE will write to medical practitioners working in community settings, inviting expressions of interest in providing the service.

Medical practitioners expressing an interest will be provided with a copy of the contract.

It is intended that those interested in providing the service would return the signed copy of the contract to the HSE by early December so that services can commence from the beginning of January.