Ireland should have 20 ambulatory gynaecology clinics this year

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Ireland should have 20 ambulatory gynaecology clinics by the end of this year, as part of a major investment in women’s health, according to Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly. 

He said eight ambulatory gynaecology clinics were already functioning. The pre-existing clinics at the Coombe, the National Maternity Hospital, and Mayo were being expanded and clinics were also open in Cork, Galway, the Rotunda, Letterkenny, and Waterford. 

Work was underway to operationalise six more clinics that were funded last year. This included the clinics at Kerry, Drogheda, Wexford, and Sligo, as well as the two community-based clinics at Tallaght Hospital and Nenagh Hospital (which is under the governance of University Maternity Hospital Limerick), which were funded through the Women’s Health Taskforce. 

Funding provided in Budget 2022 would enable the final six clinics to be established. 

The Minister said this would complete the implementation of Ambulatory Gynaecology Model of Care.

It is estimated that approximately 70% of general gynaecology referrals are suitable for management in the ambulatory setting. 

Budget 2022 provided €5.3m to continue the work underway to enhance and improve gynaecology services, including service for endometriosis and specialist menopause clinics. 

The Minister said that money will be provided this year to support two additional specialist Menopause Clinics, bringing the total to six, two additional community-based Postnatal Hubs, bringing the total to four, six additional interdisciplinary teams to support holistic treatment of endometriosis within each of the hospital networks and additional medical social work resources across the six maternity networks, to support marginalised women.