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Scottish Government urged to consider three NHS IVF cycles

26 May 2015

By Ruth Retassie

A parliamentary committee has asked the Scottish Government to consider funding three cycles of IVF on the NHS, an increase from the two cycles currently funded on the NHS in Scotland. 

Holyrood's health committee wrote to the public health minister, Maureen Watt MSP, asking for an assessment on whether it would be possible to add a third cycle without affecting waiting times for couples. The Scottish Government has already provided £12 million over three years in an effort to reduce IVF waiting times on the NHS.

Convenor of the Health and Sport Committee, Duncan McNeil MSP, stated: '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.'

'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 also recommended that the restriction on funding for couples with a child from a previous relationship should be reconsidered as a 'matter of urgency'.

'Whilst many of the eligibility criteria are based on factors likely to influence the success of treatment, this current criterion could be seen to be about prioritising couples based on perceived need', the letter to Ms Watt stated.

The current IVF criteria were introduced in 2013 after recommendations from the National Infertility Working Group.

Committee member Bob Doris MSP said: '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 Herald Scotland | 21 May 2015
The Scotsman | 21 May 2015
BBC News | 21 May 2015
Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra | 21 May 2015


13 June 2016 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza 
Scotland is set to expand the provision of publicly funded IVF, increasing the number of cycles for eligible patients from two to three...
05 October 2015 - by Kirsty Oswald 
North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group has announced that it is ending its IVF funding, and fertility treatment will only be available to specific groups of patients...

30 March 2015 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza 
A charity has called for all NHS Boards in Scotland to move towards offering eligible patients three full cycles of IVF...
27 October 2014 - by Dr Sarah Martins da Silva 
As a consultant clinician working in one of the four NHS tertiary fertility units in Scotland, I was somewhat surprised to read the objection from the Association of Clinical Embryologists about proposed plans to devolve legislative powers for fertility treatment to the Scottish Government...
20 October 2014 - by Stephen Harbottle 
The Association of Clinical Embryologists is concerned that proposals to devolve powers for forming legislation covering the provision of fertility treatment, genetic screening and abortion to the Scottish Parliament may be a step too far in the process of devolution...
20 May 2013 - by Ruth Retassie 
The Scottish government has approved criteria which include new restrictions on access to state-funded IVF but which also aim to end the 'postcode lottery' faced by many couples with fertility problems...

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