Labour’s pledges to widen IVF treatment through legal amendments to the IVF legislation will be passed through parliament within the first 100 days of a new government, Health Minister Chirs Fearne said on Saturday.

He said that before parliament stops for the summer recess, Labour’s pledges to offer more IVF services to more couples will become a reality.

Addressing a press conference, Fearne said the Labour Party was pledging to extend current IVF services so more couples can attempt to become parents, including those who are experiencing infertility problems.

The aim, he said, is to help couples who suffered from miscarriages, couples who ended cycles of IVF which were unsuccessful, and couples who have a history of medical complications.

The law will be changed to extend the possibility of IVF to those who have already had a child through IVF, so that they can have the opportunity to have another child.

There are currently 24 mothers pregnant through IVF, three of them with twins, he said.

The government already covers the cost of IVF cycles, which cost between €15,000 and €20,000 each, but now the government would be extending the service to provide IVF medicines for free, both for the mother as well as the father.

Measures for families

Fearne said that during this second week of the electoral campaign, there were announcements of a number of measures specifically directed to children and to families who have children, including an increased children’s allowance which will be topped up by €90 a year over the next five years.

Education Minister Clifton Grima said a new Labour government would place more emphasis on extracurricular activities by increasing the tax credit to €300 a year for every child so that more parents can afford to send their children to as many activities as possible.

The one tablet per child scheme will be extended while seventh-year students will receive a laptop to use throughout their secondary years.

Over five years, the government plans to invest €145 million on this package of proposals, he said.

Teachers are crucial in children’s education so a prospective Labour government has an ambitious plan to improve their working conditions and improve their salaries through a new sectorial collective agreement.  

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