RQIA must review IVF treatment in NI, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has called on The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) to review private healthcare services for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), following reports that couples have been sold into unproven fertility treatment add-ons.

Health Paula Bradshaw IVF

The South Belfast MLA said: “I am shocked to hear that couples who are receiving fertility treatment are being sold into unproven add-ons under the guise that these add-ons will increase their chances of pregnancy, despite no evidence backing up these claims.”

“In Northern Ireland, couples are only provided with one cycle of IVF treatment on the NHS, as opposed to the three cycles available to couples in England, Scotland and Wales. Therefore, couples in Northern Ireland are pushed into private healthcare quicker than their neighbours.”

“It is imperative that the RQIA conduct a service review urgently, as these services are more likely to be used in Northern Ireland where existing health policies are placing prospective parents at a disadvantage.”

“I welcome the move from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to introduce a colour-coded rating system to provide transparency to couples on the efficacy of additional treatment plans.”

“Fertility treatment and family planning can be financially and emotionally turbulent for families, and adding to their bill when they are particularly vulnerable is inexcusable.”

“The Alliance Party are calling for IVF treatment in Northern Ireland to be reformed in line with the rest of the UK, to reduce the likelihood of couples here having to access expensive private healthcare.”