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Something’s Missing On Mother’s Day

Something’s Missing On Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day 2004 (May 9) has been chosen by FertilityNZ to highlight the ongoing funding inequity in the health system whereby infertile couples are entitled to just a single funded IVF cycle.

By contrast, couples in Australia are entitled to as many cycles as they want or need to successfully give birth to a child.

FertilityNZ points out: No other area of public health limits the treatment people receive. If a knee operation fails, the surgeon doesn’t say, “Too bad, you’ve had your chance”. They try again.

“Infertility affects one in six New Zealanders. This Mother’s Day, hundreds of couples will wake up with an aching emptiness, knowing that another year has passed them by, with no child to bring what many other New Zealanders accept as a simple fact of life: a family,” says FertilityNZ executive director Sue Domanski.

Yet, she says, technology available today could help couples with fertility problems. Huge leaps forward in assisted reproductive techniques such as In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) have resulted in the births of more than a million children around the world; an estimated 6000 in New Zealand.

FertilityNZ is looking forward to an announcement about increased funding which the Minister of Health, Annette King committed to nearly two years ago.

FertilityNZ met with Mrs King last week (April 28) to ask why there had been so long a delay.

“She indicated an announcement was pending, but only after she completed consultations with her advisors. She said the announcement would be within this financial year and take effect in the new one, but she did not indicate to us in any way if the announcement it would be favourable,” Mrs Domanski says.

“We very much hope it is so that Mother’s Days in the future will be quite different for many hopeful parents.”

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