Ireland – Free contraception available to women aged 17-25

pilule contraceptive

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly today launched a free contraceptive scheme for women aged 17-25 living in Ireland. Funding of €9 million has been allocated to support the program in the 2022 budget.

Contraception and financial responsibility

All women in Ireland between the ages of 17 and 25 are entitled to free contraception from today.

The program is designed to eliminate the financial burden of contraception for young people.

Currently, the cost of these prescriptions is mainly for those with a medical card (or Medical card, providing access to healthcare in Ireland for free if your income does not exceed a certain level). But those who don’t have one can run hundreds of dollars in fees and prescriptions.

Minister Donnelly said:

“I am happy to announce the launch of a free contraceptive scheme for women aged 17 to 25 years. Women’s health is a top priority for me and this government and has received strong support in Budget 2022. […] A key program of government commitment, the scheme offers women aged 17 to 25 a full range of options to enable them to choose the contraceptive method that best suits them. We remove all financial barriers for age groups where these barriers may be a problem.

Information about the program is available on the HSE Sexual Health and Wellbeing website (The HSE’s Sexual Health and Wellbeing website). The Minister assures that the information will be updated regularly and all the details about the terms of entry into the scheme will be provided.

A (free) appointment with the doctor is required

Based on 2016 census data, an estimated 250,000 women between the ages of 17-25 are eligible for free contraception under this program.

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Contraceptive methods will be prescribed by a general practitioner. GPs offering the service will self-advertise and launch a national advertising campaign. Women are advised to consult their local doctor.

Dr Denis McCauley, GP Committee ChairmanIrish Medical OrganizationGPs working in universities and health centers will also provide the service, he said.

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