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Life, Infertility And You

Media Release 31 May 2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LIFE, INFERTILITY AND YOU

The New Zealand Infertility Society will launch Infertility Awareness Week next Saturday (June 8) with a day-long seminar at Turnbull House: Life, Infertility and You.

The society's executive officer Robyn Scott says members will be using the opportunity - and the fact it is election year - to focus on their key issue: the public funding of fertility treatment.

"Here in New Zealand couples with infertility problems are given one publicly funded IVF cycle in a lifetime. In Australia, there is no limit to the number of publicly-funded IVF treatments. What it means for many couples is that if that one cycle fails, they have to give up any hope of having a child," Mrs Scott says.

Keynote speaker at the seminar will be Sandra Dill, founder and executive director of Access in Australia and consumer advocate in the area of infertility.

"Sandra points out that while governments may claim that the costs of providing reimbursement for fertility treatment are too high, it can be argued that the financial costs are less significant than the real costs of infertility - emotional, social and societal.

"When considering reimbursement, the question is not whether people affected by infertility have a right to publicly-funded fertility treatment but rather, why should they be discriminated against in being denied access to appropriate health care services."

Mrs Scott points out there is no limit set on the number of publicly-funded terminations a woman can have and there is no other medical condition for which a person has only one chance of fixing the problem.

"We will be campaigning hard for three publicly funded cycles. Infertility affects one in six people. It is an illness and its emotional and physical impact should not be underestimated or forgotten."

...ends/

For further information: Robyn Scott New Zealand Infertility Society Tel: 04 479-5952 Mob: 025 618-2400

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