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Cash-strapped NHS refusing to fund IVF treatment

Published on 06/09/2010
Private medical cover may become an increasingly popular way to secure fertility treatment following suggestions it is becoming harder to obtain on the NHS.

An investigation by Pulse magazine has revealed that a number of cash-strapped Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are cutting back on the number of IVF treatments they approve.

Current NHS guidelines stipulate that all eligible patients should be provided with access to three rounds of fertility treatment.

But data obtained by the news provider under the Freedom of Information Act from 124 primary care organisations reveals that many are refusing patients IVF or ramping up the criteria for eligibility, making it much more difficult for GPs to refer patients for the treatment.

It was found that nine trusts have not funded any requests for IVF treatment in the last two years while 19 per cent have cut the number of procedures funded over the past three years.

Commenting on the results, Tony Rutherford, chair of the British Fertility Society, said: "This is a retrograde step, out of keeping with all messages coming from central government, and shows scant regard for the needs of the one in six couples who suffer from infertility."

IVF treatment involves eggs and sperm being collected and fertilised in the laboratory before the resulting embryo is transferred to the womb.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Medical
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