Department of Health reaches deal with IMO for provision of abortion services

Department of Health reaches deal with IMO for provision of abortion services

The Department of Health has reached a contract agreement with the Irish Medical Organisation for providing abortions at GP surgeries and other community settings.

Welcoming the development, the Health Minister Simon Harris said it is up to doctors to choose whether they want to offer the service.

He said the agreement is a significant step towards the introduction of abortion services at the start of January.

Doctors will be paid €150 for the patient's first consultation, with the fee for the procedure and aftercare coming to €300.

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.

Minister Harris said this evening: "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.”

Digital Desk

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