Women will have greater choice around IVF services with the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government providing up to a $500 rebate for pre-IVF fertility testing and greater access to lower cost treatments.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said the $42 million package was only possible because of the Government’s strong economic management.
“We will provide assistance with out-of-pocket medical expenses related to IVF pre-screening which is often an expensive and emotionally challenging experience for women,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Pre-screening tests can determine whether a woman is likely to experience a positive result through IVF.
“We will also make IVF an option for more women who previously may not have been able to afford it by expanding the number of NSW Government-supported IVF clinics,” Ms Berejiklian added.
Under the plan, the NSW Government will provide lower cost IVF treatments for around 6000 women through services at Royal Prince Alfred, The Royal Hospital for Women and Westmead hospitals.
Costs at Government-supported facilities are substantially less than many private facilities, which can charge up to $10,000 per cycle.
Mr Hazzard said thousands of women would benefit from greater access to lower-cost fertility services in NSW.
“Not knowing why you can’t fall pregnant is stressful enough without the added worry of how you are going to manage the ongoing cost of fertility treatment,” Mr Hazzard said.
“Needing to take time off work for treatment creates an even bigger financial burden for women trying to conceive, so our IVF package will offset some of those costs.”
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Health Minister Brad Hazzard also announced a partnership with UNSW for the first statewide fertility preservation service for young cancer patients at The Royal Hospital for Women.
“Using cutting edge research, technology and treatment, the service will help young cancer patients across the State have children in the future if their fertility is impacted by chemotherapy and radiotherapy,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Felicity McLaren, who has had two babies born through IVF at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital who are now three-years and nine-months-old, welcomed the announcement.
“Anything that can relieve some of the cost burden of going through IVF is wonderful – particularly in the early stages of testing when you don’t even know if you can have a baby,” Ms McLaren said.
Fertility experts say about one in every 25 Australian babies are born following some form of assisted reproduction support.
Women undergoing IVF fertility testing will be able to claim their rebate through Service NSW. Medicare and private health insurance rebates are also available to couples and singles to subsidise the cost of IVF procedures.