Tuesday February 11th, 2020
Those who have undergone IVF understand the serious struggles of the process; the high costs, the multiple phases to undergo, and the mental and physical stresses that can accompany it. But many of those who undertook the treatment also know the incomparable reward at the end of the arduous journey.
This reason is why the new NSW IVF treatment initiative is so important; it gives those who are unable to conceive naturally the chance to experience the ultimate joy of becoming a parent. The NSW Government has committed an impressive $42 million to help improve access to and increase the affordability of IVF.
What this means
The money set aside by the government will go to improving affordability in a number of ways, one of which is a rebate offered to all women who have a fertility issue and are undergoing pre-IVF related testing. This rebate covers $500 of out-of-pocket expenses related to these tests, once administered through Service NSW.
The costs of IVF can be, for some, one the most stressful aspects of signing up for the treatment. In a bid to improve access for all women in NSW, this initiative will increase the availability of lower cost IVF treatments to around 6,000 women over four years by expanding government supported clinics at the Royal Hospital for Women, the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and Westmead Hospital.
Infertility can be a devastating side-effect to having cancer, so an incredibly exciting service to be offered within this initiative is to establish the first state-wide fertility preservation service for cancer patients. This service will be available at The Royal Hospital for Women.
How the rebate works
The $500 rebate for pre-IVF related testing is available to all current residents of New South Wales, once you have a fertility issue confirmed by a specialist and have accrued expenses related to fertility testing from the 1st of October 2019.
A fertility issue, for the purposes of this rebate, is defined as: a woman who (following regular unprotected sex) is under 35 years of age and has been unable to conceive for 12 months or more, or a women who is 35 years of age or over and has been unable to conceive in 6 months or more, and so requires assessment for infertility. The rebate is available for the following tests: ovulation test, AMH, pelvic ultrasound, and semen analysis.
There are limits to this initiative however; while fertility issues can be provided for both men and women, only women can claim this particular rebate and they can only receive it once. However NSW residents can claim the rebate regardless of where in Australia they received the test.
With this initiative starting from January 2020, a significant amount of women will be able to access important IVF treatment in a more affordable way. A portion of women will even be able to receive a reduced price, ensuring the gift of parenthood is more widely accessible. As well being a difficult and oftentimes draining process IVF can take a huge toll financially, which is this initiative by the NWS government is such an important step.