IVF treatment should be funded under the medical health system – Noone
Dublin Senator and Fine Gael candidate for Dublin West, Catherine Noone, is calling for IVF treatment to be funded under the state’s medical health system.
“Currently, Ireland is one of only three countries in the EU where fertility treatments, such as IUI or IVF, are not funded by the state. The World Health Organisation recognises infertility as a disease and yet it is the only medical condition that isn’t covered under our public health system. Even plastic surgery is on the public system here.
“I believe the current system is unfair as many Irish couples cannot afford the €4,000 to €6,000 fee per cycle of IVF treatment. This discriminates against lower income couples with fertility problems, who wish to start a family, but are not in a financial position to afford IVF treatment.
“According to Dr. Mary Wingfield, consultant obstetrician gynaecologist at Holles Street and director of Merrion Fertility Clinic, one in six Irish couples have infertility, and at least half of them will need IVF.
“Currently in Scotland and Wales, couples are entitled to two NHS-funded cycles of IVF treatment if they meet certain medical criteria, regardless of income. Those in Northern Ireland are funded for one cycle, while those in England receive one, two or three cycles, depending on their postcode. Belgium has had it since the 1990s and the UK since the early 2000s.
“The cost of IVF is forcing many Irish couples, who can’t afford it, to travel abroad to Eastern Europe and India, where guidelines and practices may not be as good.
“I am now calling on the Department of Health to consider including IVF treatments under the medical health system.”