This is huge news for families. IVF treatment is about to get affordable.
Primary Health Care’s first bulk-billed IVF service in Australia opens today in Sydney. If other clinics are rolled out across Australia, this is the start of something big.
There are tens of thousands of women in Australia undergoing IVF.
Women who have had trouble conceiving, for whatever reason. Women who are using their own eggs, and women who are not. Women who have never met the right partner, but know without a doubt that they want to have children. Women hoping desperately that this time, this round, they will be successful.
And for every woman undergoing IVF, the expense is huge.
In fact, for some women who have trouble conceiving, the prohibitive costs mean that IVF isn’t an option at all.
Primary Health Care opens its first clinic today in Sydney, and will cut the average out-of-pocket expenses for patients to about $500. That’s compared to the average of $4000 in private clinics. The average cost for an IVF treatment is actually approximately $8000, with Medicare covering half of that cost.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the bulk-bill clinic has already had up to 300 inquiries from families who desperately want children.
Primary Health Care chief executive Dr Edmund Bateman told The Daily Telegraph, “If the medical procedure has an item number (with Medicare) we will bulk-bill it and you will pay nothing for it.”
He also said that the clinic opening in Sydney would be conducting 5,000 cycles per year – but that the number of cycles could double if there was the demand for it.
Mamamia once published a letter from a reader about watching friends struggle to become pregnant with IVF, and the emotional, physical and financial toll it was taking on them.