Dublin Senator and Fine Gael candidate for Dublin West, Catherine Noone, has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Health that he intends to publicly fund fertility treatment, in conjunction with planned legislation.
“This is a very positive step and something that I have been campaigning for for some time.
“According to leading experts, one in six Irish couples experience infertility, and at least half of them will need IVF. However currently, Ireland is one of only three countries in the EU where fertility treatments, such as IUI or IVF, are not funded by the state. The World Health Organisation recognises infertility as a disease and yet it is the only medical condition that isn’t covered under our public health system. Even plastic surgery is on the public system here.
“I campaigned to change this as I felt it was very unfair as many Irish couples cannot afford the €4,000 to €6,000 fee per cycle of IVF treatment. This discriminated against lower income couples with fertility problems, who wish to start a family, but are not in a financial position to afford IVF treatment.
“I am delighted that Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has now announced his intention to provide public funding for assisted human reproductive treatment in conjunction with the planned introduction of legislation in this area. It’s very important that the provision of public funding be accompanied by a robust system of legal governance.
“The Department of Health is now commissioning an evidence review of international public funding models in this area.
“Fine Gael has a long term economic plan to keep the keep the recovery going, which will allow us to plan for these kinds of investments in important health services. The plan has three steps: more and better jobs, making work pay more than welfare, and investment in better public services, which will only be possible as a result of the increased revenue generated by creating more jobs. This plan will ensure that more people feel the benefits of a recovering economy in their own lives.”