Patients who are prescribed medical cannabis products will no longer need to travel to the Netherlands to collect their medication, the Minister for Health has confirmed.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, patients or their relatives had to travel to the Netherlands to collect their medical cannabis prescriptions.

Dutch authorities allow the filling of individual prescriptions from EU states.

A delivery service to Ireland to assist patients of licensed clinicians in obtaining their prescribed cannabis products was established last April on a temporary basis due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This will now be made permanent, Stephen Donnelly has revealed.

The minister said: "Many patients and their families have shared stories with both me and officials in my department about how this initiative has made a huge improvement to their lives.

"They spoke about the stress of having to travel regularly and the associated health risks with that, as well as their concerns that they would run out of their medication.

"I am so pleased that these problems will now be a thing of the past for them," Minister Donnelly continued.

"There will no longer be a need for them to travel abroad in order to collect their prescribed cannabis products. Instead, they can focus on their health and well-being."

Officials in the Department of Health will now finalise the arrangements in respect of how the collection and delivery service will work on a permanent basis into the future.