Sunday 17 November 2019

Vasectomy funds for year spent by March, warns GP

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Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The funding to provide vasectomies has already been used up in some parts of the country, despite the Government's promise to extend measures to prevent crisis pregnancies.

One of the areas where it ran out is in the south east where the €15,000 budget was spent by March this year.

Waterford GP Dr Fergus McNamara said: "They are saying a lot of people who go for the abortions are not 22-year-olds at the start of planning their families.

"There are actually quite a good few people at the end of their family planning, the 38-year-olds, and they are surprised when a crisis pregnancy occurs and they are heading over to the United Kingdom for an abortion.

"If that is the case, you can prevent that altogether by making vasectomy more widely available and when people are decided their family is done they can go and get a vasectomy and that's the end of it," he told the 'Irish Medical Times'.

"People don't mind waiting a month or two, but just waiting nine months for your vasectomy is shocking because firstly you have to find alternative contraceptives and the second thing is that you are running the risk of a crisis pregnancy in the meantime."

His comments come as the National Association of General Practitioners have called for engagement by the Department of Health on the proposed abortion legislation which will see family doctors asked to perform medical abortions.

NAGP President Dr Maitiu O'Tuathail said an emergency meeting of the doctors over the weekend heard concerns about funding for ultrasounds, counselling and blood tests which are crucial to the welfare and safety of the pregnant women seeking a termination. They also want an opt-in clause for doctors.

Irish Independent

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