People want clarity surrounding the rollout of publicly funded IVF
Who will be eligible?
A new survey carried out by Sims IVF, the largest fertility provider in Ireland, has highlighted the concerns that fertility patients in Ireland have about the rollout of publicly funded IFV treatment.
There is lack of clarity surrounding when the government will introduce this and it's leading to one in every two people holding off on getting treatment.
The study was carried out in March and questioned 1,088 past and present fertility patients.
67% of people surveyed had undergone fertility treatment previously.
Among those, 54% of respondents said they would consider delaying further fertility treatment until public funding is introduced.
The remaining 46% said they would continue on their fertility journey regardless of public funding.
An overwhelming 96% of people surveyed said they were worried that they may not be eligible for fertility treatment in an area convenient for them to travel to.
Other major concerns included the number of treatments covered by the public health system and whether age limits apply.
53% of the people were worried about the possible weight and BMI limitations.
The research showed that 42% of people were confused and worried about if LGBTQI+ individuals and couples will be able to avail of fertility treatment.
"People need help to create their family"
Just under a fifth (18%) of people noted their anger in the survey.
They were frustrated about the length of time it's taking the government to rollout the public funding service in this country.
12% of people said they aren't too confident in the implementation of this new service. Many asked if medical card holders can avail and if it will be means-tested.
According to the Echo Live, Group Clinic Director of Sims IVF, Mikey O’ Brien said: "The results of this survey echo the concerns we are hearing from patients in our clinics on a daily basis.
"There is great deal of uncertainty around the rollout of funding for IVF and potential patients are concerned about if, when and how this public funding model will be implemented.
"They want to know what will be covered and what won’t, so they can make informed decisions about their treatment."
He mentioned that there are weight, age and other limitations for patients in the UK so it makes sense that people in Ireland are concerned.
O'Brien believes that embarking on a fertility journey is difficult enough so adding specific criteria to the public service will only make things more stressful for people.
He said: "People just need help to create their little family."