Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Department of Health

Fertility Treatment

Photo of Joe CareyJoe Carey (Clare, Fine Gael)
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To ask the Minister for Health the supports his Department provides in relation to fertility treatment; his plans for the future regarding same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57404/12]

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Dublin North, Fine Gael)
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Assisted Human Reproduction treatment (AHR) is not provided or funded by the public health system; such treatment is available from clinics that operate privately. Patients who access these services privately may claim tax relief on the costs involved under the tax relief for medical expenses scheme.

In addition, a defined list of fertility medicines needed for fertility treatment is covered under the High Tech Scheme administered by the Health Service Executive. Medicines covered by the High Tech Scheme must be prescribed by a consultant/specialist and authorised by the 'High Tech Liaison Officers'. The cost of the medicines are reflected in the PCRS Statistical Analysis of Claims and Payments under the High Tech Drugs. The patient uses their valid established eligibility of GMS or DPS as appropriate to access the medicines.

I am conscious of the financial burden that fertility services can place on the couples concerned; however, this matter has to be considered in the context of the difficult economic situation that prevails and the other compelling funding demands across a full range of health issues.


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