Free contraception and how to avail via DCU

Louise Hickey

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly launched a scheme on Wednesday the 14th of September which provides free contraception to all women between the ages of 17-25.

This scheme is now being extended to women ages 16-30 as part of the new Budget 2023. Funding of €9 million has been set aside in this years budget.

This includes everything from consultations, the cost of contraception, the emergency contraception pill (morning after pill), and the fitting/removal of Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC).  

The only form of contraception not included is condoms. However, the HSE provides condoms to all third-level colleges.

No medical cards are required for the service. All that is needed for access is a participating GP, your PPS number, name, and address.

Minister Donnelly brought the bill through the Houses of the Oireachtas. He said that “given that the costs of prescription contraception are typically faced by women, the scheme will impact positively on gender equity, reducing costs for women, but also benefitting their partners and families, starting with women aged 17-25”.

The government has recognised that the costs of the Pill and similar forms of repeat contraception are estimated to be €65-100 every six months. Initial fitting of LARC is estimated to cost €250-320.

DCU health clinic is not taking part in the scheme yet. There currently are meetings taking place about the issue.

Most of the information is confidential, however, the health center has informed the College View that this is a work in progress in the financial department.

The clinic doesn’t have a medical card list, therefore can not participate in free schemes. The government has not yet considered this.

However, there is a slight loophole. The pharmacy on campus is eligible to give out free contraception.

Students looking to avail of the scheme through DCU can pay a €20 doctor fee and then receive additional medication for free through the pharmacy.

The HSE is looking to extend the scheme to student health services, women’s health, and family planning. As a part of the service, the HSE is launching a campaign to promote free contraception over the coming weeks. They advise those who may be eligible for the service to visit

Louise Hickey

Image credit: Getty images