A leading fertility expert has said the amount IVF providers can charge the NHS should be capped. Professor Geeta Nargund said some providers charge the NHS more than twice as much as others, and a cap would allow some regions to offer treatment to more women and couples. As a leading private fertility centre in the South East, we at the Agora Clinic agree.
Carole Gilling-Smith, Consultant Gynaecologist and Medical Director at the Agora Gynaecology & Fertility Centre, gives her reaction to Prof Nargund’s comments:
“I am totally in favour of a National Tariff for NHS IVF as we need to end the post-code lottery which brings disappointment and misery to those living in areas with limited funding for assisted conception.
“NICE guidance advocates funding for three full IVF treatment cycles based on robust scientific evidence, which shows a single IVF cycle or even two will not lead to a successful pregnancy in a significant number of patients. IVF treatment should be regarded as a program of care, not a single-cycle treatment programme, and a minimum of three cycles should be planned in all patients, even if many are successful after one or indeed two cycles.
“A realistic national tariff will prevent some IVF centres charging ridiculously high prices so that NHS clinical commissioning groups can budget to provide three cycles to all patients that are eligible. I am also keen to see a national policy implemented, again as advised in NICE guidance, to support same-sex couples and single women with fertility issues receive NHS-funded treatment with donor sperm. There is no justification to deny this group of patients NHS-funded fertility treatment.”