The Scottish Government requires NHS Scotland to measure the length of time people wait for treatment. The target is that 90% of eligible patients will begin IVF treatment within 12 months.
Never reported prominently by BBC Scotland despite an obsession with other NHS targets, the IVF service has hit its target for 5 years now, without fail and though with some delays, has maintained that, during the pandemic.
The lack of media attention to this is remarkable given the very significant wider benefits of this service in terms of mental health.
Those relatively new to the site may not have seen this. I appreciate that this probably needs updating but still I think makes important points:
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.
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.
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.”’
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.
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: