An analysis of Medicare data by UNSW's Perinatal and Reproductive Epidemiology Research Unit has found that thousands of people could be missing out on the opportunity to conceive a child through IVF because of funding cuts.
Thousands of people did not access Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) treatment in the 12 months after a policy change in 2010 resulted in patients having to pay more for their assisted reproduction treatment.
The researchers, led by Dr Georgina Chambers, found use of ART increased about 10 per cent each year between 2004 and 2009, but dropped 13 per cent last year when the Federal Government capped Medicare reimbursement to patients undergoing procedures.
Based on treatment trends before 2010, about 7000 IVF cycles were not undertaken last year because of the policy change. This meant about 1500 babies that would have been conceived through assisted reproductive technologies in 2010 were not born.
The research is continuing. The team will now look into how the changes have affected different income groups.
Read more in The Age.
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Media contact: Steve Offner, UNSW media Office | 02 9385 8107