NHS introduces postcode lottery, new restrictions on IVF
Great Britain's cash-strapped NHS has introduced a postcode lottery for IVF, along with new limitations on who can receive the treatment.
The restrictions vary by region, but many allow the treatment only in “exceptional” circumstances, for instance when a man could infect his partner and child with chronic viral infections such as HIV or Hepatitis C, or when cancer treatment could leave one partner infertile.
Additionally, although NHS watchdog NICE has said that three cycles of IVF should be allowed for women under 40 who have tried and failed to get pregnant for two years, some regions are moving to cut the number of IVF cycles offered from three to two or even one.
In some areas, women over 35, men who used to smoke, and women who have a child from a previous relationship are banned from receiving the treatment. In others, a couple must try to become pregnant for three years before becoming eligible for IVF. Some regions have stopped offering NHS-funded IVF altogether.
An NHS South Norfolk CCG spokesman said: “The decision to restrict criteria for IVF was taken in November 2015, taking into account feedback from a public engagement exercise.”