Sunday 22 September 2019

Interim guidelines issued to GPs ahead of abortion introduction

Dr Tony Cox, Medical Director, ICGP at an Extraodinary General meeting of members Photo: Tony Gavin
Dr Tony Cox, Medical Director, ICGP at an Extraodinary General meeting of members Photo: Tony Gavin

Eilish O’Regan

GPs have been issued with interim guidelines on the care of women who seek a medical abortion.

The clinical guidelines are aimed providing step-by-step advice to provide the optimum care and minimise the chance of complications.

The Health (Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018 is expected to be signed into law this week with the aim of making it operational from January 1.

“These detailed clinical guidelines map out the process for GPs who wish to provide this service,” said Dr Tony Cox, Medical Director of the Irish College of General Practitioners.

“The ICGP will continue to provide training workshops and online support, as well as mentoring, in the coming year”, Dr Cox added

However, he said the “ICGP has written to the Minister for Health Simon Harris to express its concerns at the lack of clarity around referral pathways to secondary care when required throughout the country.

“Furthermore, the ICGP has highlighted the concerns of those members with conscientious objections to providing this service.”

The ICGP has reiterated that the 24-hour helpline, and the community supports to facilitate safe care for women, must be in place and fully operational by the January 1.

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