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Czech News in English » News » National » HN: Gov't looking to soften IVF conditions, raise subsidies

HN: Gov’t looking to soften IVF conditions, raise subsidies

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Prague, Nov 5 (CTK) – The Czech state might increase its spending on in vitro fertilisation as well as the age limit for women to have their IVF treatment covered from health insurance, daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) wrote yesterday, referring to the Health Ministry´s plan initiated by doctors.

The ministry is going to propose a draft amendment to the relevant law.

It is to increase the number of IVF attempts covered by insurers from the present four to six.

Before becoming pregnant, women usually have to undergo several attempts, each of which costs about 70,000 crowns. Out of the sum, 40,000 crowns is covered by the health insurer and the rest by the patient.

The bill is also to extend the age limit for women to have the treatment covered by health insurers from the present 39 years to 43, the daily writes.

This age limit is valid in Belgium, for example, it says.

The main argument in support of the change is that women tend to postpone motherhood until their higher age, and the price they pay for IVF has been rising in the past years.

“Assisted reproduction is becoming unaccessible for a certain group of people in terms of money or age,” HN quotes Jitka Kocourkova, an expert from the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry, as saying.

The demand for IVF has been rising in the Czech Republic as a result of rising infertility, faced by one in four to five couples.

Men´s infertility has been rising due to environment pollution and the unhealthy life style.

In the case of women, the main problem is the trend of postponed motherhood. At present, Czech women have their first child at the age of 28 on average, a figure that rises by several months every year.

Consequently, people often have only one child though they originally wanted more of them, HN writes.

The number of IVF cycles has doubled in the country in the past seven years, to 35,000 in 2014.

The number of foreign clients has risen the steepest of all. Czech clinics are popular with foreigners due to their low prices, liberal legislation and high success rate, the paper writes.

The share of foreign women among the clients has risen from 15 percent to almost 40 percent in the country in the past eight years, it says.

In the meantime, the number of the clinics offering IVF has increased by a half to the present 40, HN continues.

The largest player on the market is the FutureLife medical holding, which completes about one third of all treatments. It is controlled by Deputy PM and Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO), who has bought nine IVF clinics via his Hartenberg Capital investment fund in the past year, the daily writes.

Jozef Janov, head of the FutureLife board of directors, dismissed the possibility of the company influencing, via Babis, the state spending on IVF.

“The price the insurers set for an IFV cycle is equal for all providers,” Janov said, adding that payments from health insurers make up a mere fourth of FutureLife´s total revenues.

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