Proposals to deny IVF treatment to any man with a BMI over 30 by a clinical commissioning group in the South West of England has been criticised fertility campaigners
Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group(CCG) has put forward the proposals and is the latest in of a long line of NHS CCGs that have either reduced or scrapped funding for IVF treatment for anyone struggling with fertility issues.
The national issue has been dubbed a ‘postcode lottery‘.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence(NICE) recommends that couples should be offered a minimum of three IVF cycles, but many CCGs have reduced their provision to one or none at all.
The proposals are currently at consultation stage and a decision will be made on March 8, according to the BANES CCG Dr Ruth Grabham.
She said in a statement she wanted men to be as healthy as possible in order to access NHS fertility treatment.
She said: “We’re proposing to change our fertility policy so that men need to be a healthy weight in order to get NHS-funded fertility treatment with their partners.
‘I’m a GP and I want to help my patients live healthy lifestyles so they get the best health outcomes possible. We already ask women to be a healthy weight before fertility treatment, and we want to be fair about the way we share out NHS services.”
Aileen Feeney, chief executive of the Fertility Network UK charity, told The Daily Mail: “This is another appalling example of how health bosses are trying to ration NHS fertility services by introducing arbitrary access criteria.
“It is not the role of CCGs to rewrite national guidelines on who is clinically eligible to access NHS IVF.’ The Bath proposal follows Dorset, which introduced the same restriction last month, West Cheshire, which did so last April, and Devon, which introduced the ban seven years ago.”
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