05 June 2010
ByAppeared in BioNews 561
Political consensus in Denmark has resulted in an amendment to legislation governing IVF funding. According to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), free public health services will no longer extend towards assisted reproduction treatments (ART).
Currently, 2,558 cycles of IVF treatment per million people per year are performed in Denmark, the highest level of ART in Europe. By 2007, almost five per cent of all children conceived in Denmark were the result of ART. Dr Søren Ziebe, from the University Hospital, Copenhagen, estimated that on average, each school class had two children born as a result of IVF treatment.
Up until now, reimbursement for up to three cycles of IVF was available to both married and unmarried couples, as well as single people, regardless of sexual orientation. The government claims that this is no longer possible under current economic conditions, and will only provide a fund of 50 million Danish Krone for groups with special needs. This represents budget cuts of 200 million Krone.
'This is sad news considering Denmark has always been praised as the benchmark in Europe in terms of access and availability of treatment for patients seeking ART. These changes will have major implications and detrimental effect for childless couples, for fertility clinics and the research environment in Denmark', said Dr Ziebe.