Women aged up to 42 will be given free IVF
Tuesday 22 May 2012
Tens of thousands more infertile couples could be entitled to free IVF treatment on the NHS from later this year, but budget shortfalls mean many are likely to find themselves excluded.
Cancer patients, women up to age 42 and same-sex couples will benefit from proposals by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).
Some people with infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis, and those unable to conceive naturally because of a disability or impotence would be also included within the NHS remit for the first time.
The NHS spending watchdog launches its new draft guidance today, which takes account of medical and scientific advances, and changing social attitudes over the past eight years. The 2004 Nice guidance recommended three courses of IVF for women aged 23 to 39 who had been unable to conceive for three years. Now women aged 40 to 42 will for the first time be offered one cycle.
But the impact will be limited by the fact only 40 per cent of the 45,000 women who undergo IVF annually are covered by the NHS, according to figures from 2010 by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
Most fertility experts welcomed the new proposals but urged caution about the financial impact as NHS trusts grapple with difficult spending decisions. Adam Balen, speaking for the British Fertility Society, said: "Many treatments are simple, cheap and effective and even the most hi-tech IVF therapies can be provided in a cost-effective manner."
Life & Style blogs
How Stephen Hawking is still alive, defying ALS and the worst expectations
The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Mother's Day 2015: When is it – and how did it first come about?
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...