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Scottish Government urged to consider three NHS IVF cycles

26 May 2015

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.'

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Ministers urged to increase IVF treatment offered on NHS
The Herald Scotland |  21 May 2015
MSPs call for change in IVF treatment rules
The Scotsman |  21 May 2015
MSPs call for IVF treatment to be increased to three cycles
BBC News |  21 May 2015
MSPs issue IVF treatment call
Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra |  21 May 2015
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