Victorian IVF Laws To Be Reviewed

Victorian IVF laws are to be reviewed to help prevent couples from exploitation during the emotional rollercoaster that is IVF.  Undergoing as many as ten cycles and still not having a baby is a common narrative around IVF treatment. Victorian IVF laws are to be reviewed to help prevent this narrative from continuing.

Women have reported that doctors have not been up front about their genuine chances of conception and their ability to carry a baby to term. The aim of the review is to introduce more transparency into advice given to women and couples.

The Victorian Government will review IVF laws with the state to ensure that accurate information around success rates and treatment are provided and that couples are not exploited throughout what is a very emotional time.

The review will last 12 months and will examine affordability, access, safeguards and regulations. According to Jill Hennessy, the Victorian Health Minister, the laws have been in place for around ten years. During this time the technology has changed and there has been an increase in the costs associated with IVF procedures.

It stands to reason that the current laws are out of step with what was happening in the sector and she explains that the current laws may not be “fit for purpose”. Ms Hennessy says that there have been examples of exploitation now that IVF was “big business”.

Representatives from Monash IVF have said that they welcomed the review as it would benefit both doctors and patients. The review would hopefully allow for patients to be more informed and therefore able to make decisions that are most suitable for their individual care.

Advice to people that are about to undertake IVF includes:

  • Ask questions about success rates
  • Ask about your specialist’s specific experience in infertility treatment
  • Establish if your cause for infertility will be investigated prior to commencing treatment
  • Find out your provider’s policy on the number of rounds available
  • Find out what the real financial costs are (such things as add-ons, anaesthetic charges etc).

For many couples IVF is an emotionally fraught journey and the hope is that the review of the legislation will protect couples from exploitation during what can be an emotionally difficult time.

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