As many as 1 in 6 couples in Ireland have fertility issues and yet there has, until now, been no help available with the cost of expensive IVF treatment.
Couples across the rest of the UK can apply for NHS funding to help make their dream of parenthood a reality, but Ireland has no public system in place.
Simon Harris, the Minister for Health has announced that the Irish government will fund IVF treatment from 2019 for couples unable to conceive naturally. Speaking ahead of a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 3rd October, Mr. Harris claimed; “I want to put in place supports to help subsidise the cost of IVF for families.”
The Minister for Health presented a memo at the Cabinet meeting, setting guidelines relating to the funding of IVF treatment and financial compensation for those donating eggs, sperm or embryos.
Although the government funding will not be in place until 2019, the details are expected to be released next year.
Commenting on the financial assistance for couples in need of IVF treatment, the Minister’s spokesperson said; “It is a complex and expensive area and Ireland remains one of the only countries in Europe that has not introduced legislation. Minister Harris will ask the Cabinet to approve the drafting of a Bill to enable people in need of AHR to access these services and to protect people who do access these services.”
If passed, the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill will be a lifeline to those faced with infertility who are desperate to start a family.
Using measures already in place across Britain as a guidance when drafting the Bill, Harris stated; “I hope to send it to the Oireachtas Committee subject to Cabinet approval for pre-legislative scrutiny and get it passed into law in 2018, with the idea of having public subsidies for IVF for 2019.”