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More money for fertility services

Health Minister Annette King says substantial new funding for fertility services will remove inequalities across the country.

Mrs King announced today that the Health Funding Authority has approved an extra $3.7 million for fertility services, bringing the total funding for the services to $5.8 million.

"This is an increase of almost 200 percent," she said. "It means patients with similar needs will have similar access to fertility services, regardless of where they live.

"This initiative reflects what I want to see happening across the whole health sector with the new public health service. People in New Zealand should not suffer because of where they happen to live."

HFA spokesperson Helen Williams said today the distribution of the new funding would remove historical differences in the funding of fertility services, as well as purchasing additional services.

“Under the regional health authorities, funding for fertility services varied by more than 300 percent. The new money irons out those differences, increases the funding available across the country, and removes any part charges that patients may have had to pay.

“The HFA understands that being unable to conceive is very distressing for many couples. The additional funding will mean that one possible cause of distress – people in another region getting more or different fertility services – is removed,” Ms Williams said.

Publicly funded fertility services include In Vitro Fertilisation, Donor Insemination, and Intrauterine Insemination. More than 3500 referrals for fertility services are made each year, with about 70% of these going on to receive treatment.

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