Chair of the Oireachtas Womens Caucus Senator Fiona O’Loughlin has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly that IVF fertility treatment will be funded in 2023.
Senator O’Loughlin said, “I have been raising the plight of infertility for a number of years and have been lobbying hard with the Parliamentary Party in the last Dail and now within Government to see IVF publicly funded.”
“The World Health Organization is very clear that infertility is a disease and should be treated as such with absolute support. Unfortunately, we all know people who have gone through the grief and heartbreak of trying but being unable to start their own family.”
“In Ireland, people who cannot conceive naturally get very little or no support within the public health system. Those in need of IVF and other fertility programmes find themselves having to pay between €6,000 and €10,000 per cycle. It was completely out of reach for so many couples.”
“Senator Catherine Ardagh and I have been working hard with Minister Donnelly and his officials to draft an IVF bill that would provide for free access to IVF. I am delighted to see a budgetary allocation being sanctioned by the Minister from 2023 onwards.”
Fiona concluded by saying “For too long we have seen families put themselves to the pin of their collar to have a baby. Many have had to take out significant long-term loans or have had to choose between putting a deposit down for a mortgage or trying for a baby. It is time this stopped, and I am pleased that Government have responded positively to our calls.”