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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 24 October, 2014

Group says HSE should pay for chemo patients to have eggs frozen

Those on lower incomes are selling life insurance policies and taking out considerable loans to cover costs.

Image: fertility image via Shutterstock

A GROUP IN Ireland has said the HSE should cover costs for chemotherapy patients to have eggs frozen if they cannot afford to do it themselves.

This follows the decision by a UK court in the case of a woman who has Crohn’s Disease. The woman has to undergo a bone marrow transplant and a round of chemotherapy, which can seriously inhibit your ability to reproduce.

She had requested that the NHS cover the cost of the egg freezing service. Her claim was denied and the High Court also ruled against her today.

The National Infertility Suport and Information Group (NISIG) said the “lack of government aid for fertility services is a serious issue”.

Co-founder Helen Browne told TheJournal.ie that those on lower incomes are often excluded from fertility treatments in general.

“There are even people on middle incomes who have lost private health insurance – there are an awful lot of people in that bracket,” she said.

Some people can not even afford to go for a fertility test because they earn above the medical card limit but have no private insurance. Browne said it leaves women in situations where they have to make financial sacrifices like selling a car or a life insurance policy – many decide to take out loans to cover the costs.

She said she hopes to see fertility options included in the new Universal Health Insurance bundles which the Minister for Health will be revealing in the next year.

Read: Financial pressures and lack of affordable housing linked to low fertility rates>

Read: New IVF treatment could result in couples having successful pregnancies>

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