Medicines needed for in-vitro fertilization treatment should be offered to couples for free, the Nationalist Party has said.
The PN said that medicines required for each IVF cycle cost between €4,000 and €6,000 – an exorbitant cost for all but wealthy families. That would mean spending €15,000 on medicines for three IVF cycles, it said.
“These individuals, couples and families will have already gone through a lot of pain and anxiety before considering IVF,” the party said. “The least we could do as a society is remove the financial burden that means many cannot even consider it a possibility.”
Malta first introduced IVF services into the public health service in October 2013, following years-long delays. While medical services for the fertility treatment are offered for free, stimulation medicines required at the outset must be bought.
The PN said that it was committing itself to offer IVF medicines free of charge should it be in government, reiterating a stance it has adopted for several years.
PN leader Bernard Grech raised concerns about IVF expenses this week, saying that only medical treatment for IVF was offered for free and that some couples were travelling abroad for IVF treatment.
Health Minister Chris Fearne hit back on Friday, saying that Malta’s public health IVF services were “excellent” and had been started by the Labour Party.
Speaking on ONE TV show Pjazza, Fearne added that he will be pushing to change local IVF laws to introduce pre-implantation genetic diagnosis – a test used to screen embryos for genetic defects.
“I expect Bernard Grech to back this bill and not put spokes in the wheels,” Fearne said.
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