The cost of medicines needed for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment will be covered by the state from next year, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced on Wednesday.
Speaking in parliament, Fearne said that while the government currently covered some €15,000 of the costs for treatment at Mater Dei, couples were still forced to pay over €3,000 in medicines.
Malta first introduced IVF services into the public health service in October 2015, following years-long delays. While medical services for the fertility treatment are offered for free, stimulation medicines required at the outset must be bought.
Now, as from next year, the government will also be covering these additional costs, meaning parents will not have to pay a cent when going through the IVF treatment.
In April, the Nationalist Party had said couples should not have to pay for the medicine and proposed the removal of this financial burden by having the government cover costs, reiterating a stance it has adopted for several years.
Fearne was speaking during a debate on the financial estimates for he Embryo Protection Authority.
Meanwhile, giving an update on COVID-19, Fearne said Malta has a new vaccination target in light of the spread of the Delta variant abroad and was now aiming to vaccinate 85% of those eligible. He described the target as "very ambitious" and one which other countries were not even close to achieving.
More than 80% have already been vaccinated he said.
On children aged between 12 and 15, who are currently being vaccinated, Fearne said those who do not receive their invites by Friday should get in touch with the health authorities on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fearne said that while Malta is still doing well, "you cannot be arrogant with this variant" and when easing measures, this had to always be kept in mind. Other countries were being forced to reintroduce measures because they rushed reopening, he said.
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.Support Us