2 million in funding for fertility treatments announced by government – Extra.ie

For the first time ever fertility treatments will be available through the public health service, Minister for Health Simon Harris announced on Thursday.

Phase one of the new initiative will see 2 million invested to develop fertility hubs in the six maternity networks in Ireland.

It is being described by the government as the first step in the roll-out of the model of care for infertility.

Currently, Ireland and Lithuania are the only two countries in the EU which do not offer state funding for assisted reproduction.

Although fertility treatments such as IUI and IVF are available privately in Ireland, there is currently no legislation in place.

Weve made a very clear decision that it will be part of the public health service and not just something that the state gives out as part of allowance or something else to go to a private clinic, the Health Minister announced on Thursday.

But, obviously, IVF is not regulated today in Ireland. It is available privately but it is not regulated. So we do need to regulate that first.

It is believed that state-funded initiatives for assisted reproduction will be rolled out in 2021 after legislation is passed.

We have decided to go ahead in 2020 with two million euro worth of investment in the establishment of these regional hubs, Harris added.

These are regional hubs where people will be able to go and be assessed, meet a consultant, access diagnostics and it is estimated that 50 to 70% of us could have our fertility issues resolved within this setting.

One course of IVF from a private clinic in Ireland does not come cheap. Patients can expect to fork out between 4,000 and 4,500, however, this figure can significantly increase depending on what treatments are needed.

Sinead Mc Nally, a teacher from Louth, went abroad to receive IVF treatment after spending 9,000 on one course in Dublin.

They do quote a 4,500 baseline so for an IVF cycle thats your bog-standard fee before the add ons which depend on your circumstances, she told Extra.ie.

So, my round of IVF in Ireland cost us around 9,000 and I got two rounds of IVF in Athens for 4,000 and one round in Budapest for 2,500.

Sinead explained that although she would miss out on work and money to go abroad for the treatments, it would still work out cheaper than receiving the treatment in Ireland.

The 40-year-old who has unfortunately gone through five unsuccessful rounds of IVF believes that the government needs to speak to those being affected and look at the whole picture rather than just the funding of the treatments.

Obviously we want funding in Ireland and its great to see something coming, she said.

But, I think theres more to the conversation that needs to be had. Its not just about giving someone a free cycle, if you work full-time itd be great if theres a supplement or benefit or something.

I just think its really important to consult with the people on the ground who are going through this.

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2 million in funding for fertility treatments announced by government - Extra.ie

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