MSPs Urge Government to Offer More IVF Treatment on NHS

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Published: 21 May 2015      

A number of MSPs have called on the Scottish Government to consider the possibility of allowing couples up to three cycles of IVF treatment on the NHS if they are struggling to conceive a baby.

Currently patients are only eligible for two cycles through the NHS, which experts have recently argued isn't enough to give couples who are struggling to conceive the best possible chance.

The move is the latest in a string of efforts to improve IVF treatments in the country. In addition to this call, the Government has only recently provided an additional £12 million of funding over the last three years with the aim of bringing down waiting times for the treatment, which came about after concerns were raised about a health lottery revolving around fertility treatment.

MSP Duncan McNeil made his feelings clear, stating: "It was clear from our evidence that NHS Boards have improved significantly on waiting times for fertility treatment and that there is equity across the country.

"The Committee heard that three cycles of IVF would give the best chance of success to the thousands of couples each year who rely on IVF to conceive.

"What is less clear is how this could be implemented without adversely affecting waiting times. This is why we're calling on the Scottish Government to look into this issue."

Bob Doris MSP, who is the deputy convener of the committee organised to look into the issues, added: "Significant investment has been made in the system by the Scottish Government and this has had a positive impact in allowing couples to access the treatment they need.

"The Committee was however concerned about the strict criteria which excludes couples where one of the partners has a child living with them in the home.

"The Committee is of the view that this should be revisited at the earliest opportunity by the National Infertility Review Group, with a view to extending provision."

Both the efforts to reduce waiting times and this recent call for additional cycles will come as excellent news for couples who are hoping to use IVF treatment to help them to conceive. With this, they will be less likely to have to seek private care to help following their two cycles, in addition to upping the odds of one of their cycles being successful.

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