Sunday, 19 May 2024

Victims of UK’s ‘postcode lottery’ for IVF so desperate they’re flying to Greece

Couples who are desperate for children are going to Greece for fertility treatment.

As the cost of IVF soars in the UK, British couples are flying out to the European country that’s being dubbed a fertility hotspot.

In the UK there is a “postcode lottery” when it comes to receiving treatment on the NHS – where age, weight and number of current children can all prohibit free IVF.

But as private clinics in the UK can charge up to £15,000 a round, in Greece clinics charge around £2000 for one cycle, reports The Mirror.

Katie Brehaut, 30, was refused IVF on the NHS due to a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 and so went to Greece for care instead.

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She said: “In Athens they don’t have a BMI limit.

“It is devastating to think that due to the NHS system your weight or family circumstances can prevent you having children, which is the most natural thing in the world.”

Kate Burgess, 38, was refused IVF in Hampshire because of her age and BMI.

She said: “The way they individualised my care and made sure I’ve always seen the same doctor is very important.”

Tia Brown, 34, had twins after IVF in Greece and said “Greece is one of the leading countries for fertility treatment.”

Charity Fertility Network UK found private patients were on average spending around £14,000 in total in the UK.

The charity’s Dr Catherine Hill said: “We have a two-tier health system here for those who can afford it and those who can’t.

“It is wrong.

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“Infertility is a disease as deserving of medical treatment as any other medical condition.”

Dr Hill added in England we have a “postcode lottery” that is “patchwork”.

NHS guidelines say under 40s should be offered three rounds of IVF if they have been trying to get pregnant for two years.

Integrated Care Boards can insist on other criteriam – including like not already having kids, not smoking, age or BMI restrictions.

The Department of Health told “To ensure equal access to fertility treatment, we expect local health services in England to commission fertility services in line with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines.

“NICE is currently reviewing its fertility guidelines and will consider whether the current recommendations for access to NHS-funded treatment are still appropriate.

“We expect that this review will be published in 2024.”

Source: Read Full Article

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