The Health Service Executive has announced it is to increase the number of sexual assault treatment units.

Two new units will open in the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar and at University College Hospital Galway, while a new pay and on-call system is to be introduced for GPs elsewhere.

The service will receive €1.5m in funding this year and €2.5m every other year.

Dr Mary Holohan, National Medical Director of Adult SAT Services, said the expansion of services will make a difference.

The units provide care and forensic support to people who have been the victims of sexual assault.

The HSE described the work done at the units as critical, both in the provision of sensitive care to assault victims, but also in taking the necessary steps to support that victim and the judicial system in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

The two new units will be in addition to the existing sites at Dublin, Cork, Waterford and Donegal.