Should the NHS stop funding IVF treatment?
IVF could be restricted to women aged 35 and under
One in six couples in the UK now struggle to conceive. That’s a hefty portion of the population.
NHS providers in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are considering restricting IVF to women struggling to conceive aged between 30 and 35, which would make them the first to limit services to such a narrow age range.
Thirteen areas of England have introduced restrictions or stopped providing IVF completely since the beginning of the year, according to the latest research.
Under health service guidance, those aged under 40 with fertility problems should be offered up to three cycles of IVF. Those aged between 40 and 42 should be offered one cycle if they meet certain criteria.
Prof Simon Fishel, who was part of a team that pioneered IVF in the UK, expressed grave concerns about the inequality of cuts.
“If the country decides it will not fund IVF then fine, that is a decision that affects everyone … but what I cannot abide is the local variation for something like this, which doesn’t reflect local populations.”
IVF, done privately, can cost up to £5,000 per cycle, and there is no promise that it will work the first time.
These proposed cuts to NHS funding could sentence many who long to be parents to remain forever childless.
What are your views? Do you think IVF should be funded by the NHS? Could the limited funds we do have in the NHS be put to better use? Have you had experience of IVF in your family? Are some women leaving it too late to try and conceive a baby naturally due to career or life choices?
What are your views?
We'd love to hear your comments
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