GP's To Now Provide Scalpel-Free Vasectomy Services

Health Minister, Robin Swann, has announced that GPs will now provide scalpel-free vasectomy services, as part of an initiative to relocate services for the benefit of patients.

The Minister has announced that vasectomy services in Northern Ireland will be transferred from secondary care to primary care, meaning that services will be provided by GPs, with the required funding moved out of Trust budgets on a permanent basis.

Minister Swann said: "My decision will ensure a more localised service for patients, and I am confident it will result in hundreds more procedures being provided in the first year alone.

"This innovation is a positive example of services being relocated for the benefit of patients – and with lower costs per procedure."

The decision will involve in the region of £450k-£500k per year being allocated to primary care.

It will take effect immediately, with a transition phase throughout 2024/25. From 2025/26 onwards, primary care will be the sole provider of health service vasectomy services.
News Image
Scalpel-free vasectomies have been provided by GPs in recent years through the primary care elective care service. Funding, however, had been on a non-recurrent basis and was not provided for the second half of 2023/24 due to health service budgetary pressures. Vasectomy in secondary care is currently at low levels, resulting in around 1000 patients currently waiting for the procedure - reflecting the need for secondary care to focus attention on more complex and acute needs.

Welcoming the news Dr Joe Devlin, clinical director for the Primary Care Vasectomy Service, commented: "This is very positive news for primary care. We have been providing a high quality, easily accessible, cost-effective vasectomy service in primary care for several years now. The announcement by the Minister today provides long-term security for the future of the service, allowing us to plan more effectively to deliver and develop the service. It is a welcome vote of confidence in primary care that it can be the main provider of important services like this."

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

20 March 2024
Belfast Man Handed Two-Year Stalking Protection Order
The PSNI have welcomed a two-year Stalking Protection Order (SPO) handed down to a 46-year-old Belfast man at Belfast Magistrates Court. The man had been found guilty of stalking and harassing his 50-year-old female ex-partner.
23 February 2024
One Year On Since Attempted Murder Of DCI John Caldwell
The PSNI will "continue to relentlessly pursue those responsible" for the attempted murder of Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell, Chief Constable Jon Boutcher has said as he marked the first anniversary of the gun attack.
12 February 2024
22-Year-Old Man Jailed For Rape At Laganside Crown Court
A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to six years for rape at Laganside Crown Court. Ahmad Alsbaihi was sentenced to six years. He will serve three years in custody and three years on licence. He will be placed on the Sex Offenders Register and will be subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) for 10 years.
09 February 2024
2nd Year Of Safety Equipment Initiative For Domestic Abuse Victims
An initiative providing security equipment to victims of domestic abuse who live in the Derry City & Strabane District has entered its second year. The aim of the initiative to help victims feel safer involves The Police Service of Northern Ireland and Derry and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP).
08 February 2024
75-Year-Old Jailed For Late 1970's Child Sex Offences
A 75-year-old former RUC Reserve Officer has been jailed for more than 8 years for a number of non-recent sexual offences.