Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has announced plans for state-funded IVF treatments to begin in Ireland next year.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, the Minister said, “We are progressing legislation on Assisted Human Reproduction that will enable us to introduce publicly funded IVF treatment. This is something I would like to introduce in 2023.”
Despite studies suggesting that one in every six couples will struggle to conceive a baby, Ireland is still the only country in the EU to not offer state-funded IVF treatments.
It is estimated that one single round of IVF costs €6,000, depending on the type of treatment a couple might need. This means that if a couple needed multiple rounds of IVF, as many do, then they would be out of pocket tens of thousands of euro.
For many couples around the country hoping to start a family and welcome a little baby into the world, IVF is simply not an option due to the financial burden.
While this new announcement is great news, it doesn’t come without its worries or concerns, as Donnelly has yet to reveal how much funding will be made available, or under what conditions couples can avail of it.
Commenting on the news a spokesperson for the National Infertility Support and Information Group said, “We welcome Mr Donnelly’s commitment to progressing this legislation later this year and looking forward to engaging with him on it. IVF and other fertility treatments place a huge financial burden on people at a very vulnerable and stressful time of their lives.”
“The AHR (Assisted Human Reproduction) legislation is long overdue and welcome in terms of bringing Ireland in line with other European norms and indeed regulating a modern fertility treatment system for a modern Ireland.”