THE Cork Sexual Health Centre has welcomed the announcement of a public consultation on increasing access to contraception.
Minister for Health Simon Harris launched the public consultation, which will remain open until midnight on August 5 and is available on the Department of Health website, on Tuesday.
He said that removing barriers to contraception in a key priority.
Catherine Kennedy, manager of the CSHC, welcomed the move and highlighted the need for a dedicated contraception clinic in Cork.
“It’s a hugely positive step because, here at the SHC, we believe there isn’t equitable services for contraceptive clinics in Cork,” she told The Echo.
“There are services like Well Woman and various other clinics in Dublin but here in Cork, people are struggling to access such services.
“At the moment, contraceptive services in Cork is GP led and we all know that general practice is struggling to keep up with demand already,” she added.
“We hope that this public consultation makes the government realise the need for greater contraception services and a dedicated clinic in Cork.
“Services like these need to be accessible across Ireland and if it was run with the help of or alongside non-government organisations like ourselves, it would take pressure of GPs and allow greater access for people.
Earlier this year, Minister Harris established a Working Group to consider issues relating to enhanced access to contraception, following the recommendation of the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment.
“We have begun that work through the expansion of free access to condoms this year,” he said.
“However, it is important that we hear from the public and stakeholders and allow them to have their say on this issue.
“I would encourage all those with an interest to engage with the Department’s consultation before it concludes.”