Minister Varadkar Just Promised State-Funded Fertility Treatment
For couples who have tried in vain to conceive naturally, the cost of fertility treatment is an added burden in an already emotionally-charged situation.
However, this could be set to change under new legislation proposed by Health Minister Leo Varadkar, which will see fertility treatment such as IVF costs covered by the state under the public health system from next year.
Currently, couples who face fertility issues can only receive treatment privately from clinics at a cost of about €4,000 to €4500 per course.
The new legislation, due to be published this summer, tackles a range of different issues surrounding assisted human reproduction, including a bid to regulate assisted conception including surrogacy and sperm and egg donation.
Mr. Varadkar said:
"I believe it is important that we should consider how best to provide public funding for fertility treatment in tandem with closing the current legislative gap in this area of healthcare. Fertility treatments should be funded in such a way that not only maximises efficiency but which ensures equity of access as well.
"Nevertheless, the provision of public funding for assisted human reproduction must be accompanied by a robust system of legal governance which will promote and protect the health and well-being of patients and most especially the children who will be born as a result of the treatment."
"The ability to conceive a child naturally is a normal human expectation and a diagnosis of infertility can be a source of emotional distress, physical discomfort and financial hardship."
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