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Two-thirds of fertility patients feel ripped off by IVF clinics

Ewa Zotow

Progress Educational Trust

17 December 2018

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[BioNews, London]

Sixty-two percent of private IVF patients paid 'more than they expected' for treatment, according to the first national patient survey by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).

The UK fertility regulator released annual statistics showing that 60 percent of IVF cycles are now privately funded and that 74 percent of patients over the past two years paid for one or more 'add-on' treatments, up from 66 percent in the previous two years.

'Patients often feel pressure to opt for add-ons and many are understandably keen to explore every option to improve their chances of having a baby, but such treatments should only be offered where there is proof they work' said the HFEA's Chair, Sally Cheshire.

Add-ons can vary from so-called 'embryo glue', or scratching the uterine lining to encourage implantation, to alternative therapies such as acupuncture.

Over 1000 patients were surveyed across the UK and including those whose treatment was NHS funded, and those paying privately. 

The proportion of privately-funded cycles is rising as Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) cut funding for IVF on the NHS. Only 11 percent of CCGs now offer the three cycles recommended by NICE (the figure was 16 percent a year ago).

Overall, 75 percent of patients said they were satisfied with their treatment, meaning one quarter felt they had had an unsatisfactory treatment experience. These figures were similar whether treatment was NHS-funded or when the patients themselves were paying. 

IVF 'trap' anger: two in three IVF patients feel they are being ripped off by private fertility clinics
The Sun |  14 December 2018
New data reveals the UK fertility sector is performing well, and most patients are satisfied
HFEA |  14 December 2018
The State of the Fertility Sector (2017-2018)
HFEA |  14 December 2018
Two in three IVF patients feel ripped off by clinics, watchdog warns
The Telegraph |  13 December 2018

© Copyright Progress Educational Trust

Reproduced with permission from BioNews, an email and online sources of news, information and comment on assisted reproduction and genetics.

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Date Added: 17 December 2018   Date Updated: 17 December 2018
Customer Reviews (1)
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Dr. Ajay K. Jain   26 December 2018
Distrust in the mind of any patient about his/her medical treatment is not fair in terms of patients & doctors relationships. Money is not above than FAITH which patients have in medical professionals. I have found that patient never mind within his/her capacity to pay real expenses if the same is explained & counselled properly because he/she wants relief from the medical problem/ailment.

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