As NHS England denies single women Scotland’s IVF service is 100%

Photograph: Sang Tan/AP

In the Guardian yesterday:

NHS bosses have apologised for justifying denying single women IVF treatment by saying they would be a burden to society and “unable to bring out the best outcomes for the child”:

NHS South East London has said sorry for the “offence and distress” it caused, which prompted 175 single mothers to complain about its “misguided and offensive” language. Guidance explaining the policy was based on a document it had put together that stated: “Single mothers are generally poorer; they are likely to have greater support needs compared to two-parent couples, thereby placing a greater burden on society in general. Aristotle’s principle of equality says treat equals equally, so a couple compared to a couple is equal. A woman or man compared to a couple is not equal, and by attempting to think of them as such has no ground or support.” It added: “A sole woman is unable to bring out the best outcomes for the child.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/sep/09/nhs-bosses-apologise-calling-single-mothers-burden-society

Once more there is a different approach in Scotland. An IVF service which has been 100% successful for 5 years in a row will have had immeasurable benefits reducing both the human and financial costs of infertility. More on this below.

From ISD 30 May 2019:

During the quarter ending March 2019:

  • The four IVF centres in Scotland screened 366 eligible patients, compared with 385 in the previous quarter.
  • In all four centres, 100% of patients were screened for IVF treatment within 365 days, 75.7% of which were screened within 182 days.
  • The 90% standard continues to be met since it was first measured in March 2015.

Why does this matter so much? See this:

Reducing associated mental health complications

Failing to treat infertility can result in problems and further costs for the NHS in other areas. A Danish study of 98 737 women, between 1973 and 2003, showed that women who were unable to have children were 47% more likely to be hospitalised for schizophrenia and had a significantly higher risk of subsequent drug and alcohol abuse.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22020-infertility-may-increase-risk-of-mental-disorders/

Meanwhile in Tory-run NHS England, only 12% of boards offer three full cycles in line with official guidance. 61% offer only one cycle of treatment and 4% offer none at all.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/ivf-nhs-treatment-fertility-lists-wait-patients-lottery-budget-cuts-a8028116.html

A warning for Scotland’s 100% IVF post-Brexit: How moneygrubbing Tory IVF policies are creating massive distress now in England

How IVF became a licence to print money.

As we tumble toward a hard Brexit and trade deals with the USA allowing the private sector into the heart of the NHS, we can see how things will work out in the already privatised IVF service in England and contrast it with the state-controlled and regulated version, in Scotland. See this from the Guardian:

‘Private fertility clinics routinely try to sell desperate patients add-ons that almost certainly don’t help – why isn’t more done to monitor the industry?  Around three-quarters of all IVF cycles fail. And results vary with age. Figures from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) published in March state the average live birth-rate for each fresh embryo transferred for women of all ages is 21%; for those aged under 35, it is 29% – the highest it has ever been. For older women, the picture is bleaker: 10% for women aged 40-42, for example. IVF is expensive. And what makes it worse, says Hugh Risebrow, the report’s author, is the lack of pricing transparency. “The headline prices quoted may be, say, £3,500, but you end up with a bill of £7,000,” he says. “This is because there are things not included that you need – and then things that are offered but are not evidence-based.”’

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jun/18/how-ivf-became-a-licence-to-print-money

Creating opportunities for the private sector

In Tory-run NHS England, only 12% of boards offer three full cycles in line with official guidance. 61% offer only one cycle of treatment and 4% offer none at all. Private treatment costs between £1 343 and £5 788 per cycle.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/ivf-nhs-treatment-fertility-lists-wait-patients-lottery-budget-cuts-a8028116.html

Why UK politicians would like more privatisation in the NHS

There are 64 Tory and Labour (New) MPs with ‘links’ to private health care. Why would we trust them to protect the NHS? See this:

https://defendournhsyork.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/selling-off-nhs-for-profit-full-list-of-mps-with-links-to-private-healthcare-firms/

Published by johnrobertson834

Retired Professor of Media Politics Not-for-profit independent political analysis

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