Intended for healthcare professionals


MPs condemn “arbitrary” decisions on infertility treatment

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 23 January 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j361
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. London

MPs have called on ministers to end “devastating” disparities in access to infertility services across England.

They said that “crude, discriminatory, and arbitrary” funding decisions by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) were causing suffering to people denied treatments, including stress, anxiety, depression, and the breakdown of relationships.

In a cross party debate on 19 January MPs said that wide variations in service provision should be investigated and a national tariff introduced to end anomalies in treatment costs.

Steve McCabe, Labour MP for Birmingham, Selly Oak, said that some CCGs were withdrawing fertility services altogether because of budgetary pressures. Many other CCGs were funding fewer treatment cycles than recommended by national guidelines or changing local eligibility …

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