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Patients worried after sudden closure of Irish IVF clinic

10 February 2014
Appeared in BioNews 741

The sudden closure of an Irish IVF clinic has left patients unable to access their medical files, with some claiming that they are owed substantial amounts of money, the Irish Independent reports.

The Kilkenny Clinic, which offers fertility treatment and related storage services, closed without notice on 13 January, making ten staff redundant. An answerphone message of the closed clinic states that the closure was due to 'serious ill health' of Dr Martine Millett-Johnston, the owner and operator of the clinic. The voice message asks patients to contact ReproMed, which operates a fertility centre in Kilkenny, if they need follow up services or advice.

Dr Claire Moran of ReproMed, however, told the Irish Independent they were not able to retrieve all patients' files from the closed clinic at that date. She added that more than 100 patients have contacted them for advice since the clinic's closure.

The answerphone message also redirects patients who stored gametes and embryos with the clinic to the Clane Fertility Clinic, which has taken possession of them. Martina Kelly of the Clane Fertility Clinic, which was listed as an emergency storage facility, told the Irish Independent: 'We are acting as long-term storage for all of Dr Millett-Johnston's tissues and they have been entered safely into our quality system'.

A patient, who is now trying to reclaim the €4,000 he had paid the closed clinic, told the newspaper: 'I just can't understand how a business like this can close like someone just selling carpets. We are under huge stress. It is very private and people are struggling'.

'No one still understands what is happening and why people hoping to get fertility treatments were treated in such a disgraceful way', another patient told Kilkenny People.

The Irish Medicine Board confirmed that it was notified about the clinic's intention to 'cease trading with immediate effect'. However, the clinic's status on the Irish Companies Registration Office remained as 'in business' as of last week.

Kilkenny People said a spokesperson for the clinic was unavailable for comment.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Patients’ fears over fertility clinic closure
Kilkenny People |  5 February 2014
Patients out of pocket after sudden closure of fertility clinic
Irish Independent |  6 February 2014
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