THE Government expects to bring forward the Heads of the Bill on abortion legislation by Easter, according to Health Minister James Reilly.
Dr Reilly also denies any Cabinet rift on inclusion of suicide risk.
He said the Bill should be legislation by summer and it was important that certainty is brought to this area of obstetric care.
The minister said he expected to get the report of a review group that examined the care of Savita Halappanvar shortly.
Dr Reilly, who was launching Lollipop Day, a fund raising event to be held on Friday to raise money for oesophageal cancer, also criticised absenteeism rates of more than 10pc in certain areas of the health service.
Describing the rates as untenable he said that nurse managers are now told to bring in nurses individually to talk to them about the problem.
Some hospitals have low rates of absenteeism so it should be possible for all sections of the service to bring it down, he added.
The policy of publishing rates of absenteeism online in different areas of the service should act an an incentive to tackle the issue.