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Funding for additional sexual health facilities secured for 2017

The issue of funding was raised in correspondence within the HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme earlier this year. The correspondence was seen by MI following a Freedom of Information request.

Last week, a HSE spokesperson told MI that the additional clinic at the GMHS HIV and STI screening service started on a pilot basis last year.

“Funding for this additional clinic has been allocated for the remainder of 2017,” the Executive’s spokesperson told MI.

The additional service on a Monday was rolled out on a pilot basis at the GMHS Baggot Street clinic last September.

Separately, a Dublin laboratory that carries out “essential reference diagnostics for gonorrhoea” has been allocated enough resources to continue its work for the rest of 2017, this newspaper has been told.

According to a document produced late last year titled Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme Additional Funding Requirements 2017, seen by MI following a Freedom of Information request to the HSE, there were concerns about funding of the laboratory’s work.

“Currently, essential reference diagnostics for gonorrhoea are being carried out at one laboratory in Dublin, with samples from a limited (and not nationally representative) number of sites,” stated the document. “This work is being carried out without designated resources. The laboratory has indicated that it will not be in a position to continue this work in 2017 without additional resources.”

The laboratory is unnamed in the document. According to the HSE, “we are not at liberty to disclose the name of the laboratory at this time”.

However, the Executive told this newspaper that “resources to continue this work in 2017” have since been allocated.

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