Deputy Niamh Smyth praised many of the measures in the Budget.

Budget 2023 delivering for women's healthcare - Smyth

A local TD has today welcomed news that as part of Budget 2023, the free contraception scheme is being extended to women from 16 to 30 next year.

The Government also announced that a publicly funded IVF scheme is set to be phased in as part of spending increases on health measures.

Claiming they illustrated "the Government’s commitment to listen to women and respond with action", the moves were welcomed by Deputy Niamh Smyth.

"Promoting women’s health is an important part of the broader health agenda under the Programme for Government and is a key priority for my colleagues and I in Fianna Fáil," said Deputy Smyth.

"The extension of free contraception and the introduction of publicly funded IVF is about empowering women and forms part of a suite of measures announced as part of Budget 2023 to modernise women’s healthcare.

"In Ireland, those that cannot conceive naturally, and we all know those who have gone through the grief and the heartbreak of trying to start their own family and not being able to, currently receive very little, or no support within the public health system. It will of course take time to build capacity in our public system but, today's announcement is a landmark move. People who are desperate to have a child are the most vulnerable and hugely open to exploitation. They are facing mental, physical and relationship challenges and on top of it all, huge financial barriers and this will go some way in alleviating the pressure and anxiety they face.

"In Government, Fianna Fáil is focused on creating a revolution in women’s health, changing mindsets and introducing sensible, modern healthcare to ensure Irish women have full control of their reproductive health. Today's investment demonstrates the Government’s commitment to listen to women and respond with action."