If you’re struggling to conceive, don’t rely on the NHS to offer you IVF treatment. The media has been full of reports that health trusts up and down the country are either stopping IVF treatment altogether, or are suspending treatment to try and save money.
According to the latest news several primary care trusts have stopped IVFtreatment completely, despite guidance recommending that infertile couples should be offered three cycles of IVF. Others are making patients wait even longer for IVF – meaning the success rate or even qualification for the treatment could be affected due to strict age limits and the fact that the younger the woman when she receives treatment, the better the chance of success.
Campaigners from infertility charities and organisations have reacted strongly to the cuts which are now happening more and more as health trusts follow suit. Infertility after all isn’t something a person can avoid, people don’t choose to have fertility problems, so therefore they should receive the same medical care for their illness as everyone else.
But it seems that IVF has now been ranked alongside common operations and procedures when it comes to the spending budget – which are also being postponed or stopped completely. In a nutshell, many primary care trusts perhaps simply don’t feel that IVF is urgent or serious enough to warrant spending the money.
Funding fertility treatment should rather be seen as part of the government’s programme of investment in the future health and welfare of the nation. Society’s attitudes towards conception, contraception and abortion are in many ways difficult to reconcile.
It is ironic that the government supports and funds termination of pregnancy services whilst not fertility treatment. It is thus seen on one hand to fund the destruction of future citizens, whilst at the same time not wishing to fund the creation of others.
In our society would it not be reasonable and much fairer for the government to put the same amount of funding in the treatment of the infertile as to the abortion services?
Infertility Network, one of the main groups campaigning for better access to NHS IVF treatment for all, has a series of letters on their website you can use to send to your local PCT.